When one hears the word “shoplifting,” they don’t typically imagine a lot of equipment involved. This isn’t the case anymore, now there are tools designed for shoplifting. Many are used to dislodge security tags or utilized to shield or deactivate retail detectors.
Retail theft tools are created to assist an offender in a shoplifting crime. An example of a shoplifting tool can be a device to remove security tags, and a foil or metal-lined shopping bag.
Texas Penal Code Section 31.15 states that possessing, manufacturing, or distributing retail theft instruments is illegal. These shoplifting apparatuses are defined under Texas law as a “shielding or deactivation instrument”.
Possession of Retail Theft Instruments Defense Lawyer in Irving, Dallas, Carrolton, Richardson, TX
Possessing, manufacturing, or distributing a retail theft tool can have serious penalties. Our seasoned attorneys at Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy are well-versed in retail thefts and related crimes. If you have been charged with possessing, producing, or distributing shoplifting tools contact us.
Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today at (972) 233-5700 for a consultation about your alleged offense in Irving, Dallas, Carrolton, Richardson, and surrounding areas of Dallas County, Texas. Our firm will work to potentially get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed.
Elements for Possessing Shoplifting Instruments
There are several elements that must be proven for the alleged offender to be convicted of possessing a shoplifting tool. They are as follows:
- The defendant acted with the intent to use the instrument to commit theft; and,
- Possessed a shielding or deactivation instrument; or
- Knowingly offered, sold, or manufactured said shielding or deactivation instrument.
Some may confuse the terminology when it comes to shoplifting instruments and burglary tools. A burglary tool is normally used to steal property. Burglary tools are usually not utilized during retail hours. Some examples of burglary tools are crowbars, lock picks, and explosives. A shoplifting instrument, on the other hand, is usually exercised during store hours. A shoplifting tool mainly diverts retail theft detectors or discards security tags.
Penalties for Using Retail Theft Tools in Texas
Most people believe that if an individual was arrested for retail theft, he or she must have the stolen property in hand. This is not always the case. In a significant number of cases, the offender does not even leave the store before the merchant has been alerted to a theft.
Although the crime wasn’t completed, the alleged offender can still be charged. According to the Texas Penal Code Section 31.15, a conviction for possession, manufacture, or distribution of a retail theft instrument is a Class A misdemeanor.
Some possible consequences for a Class A misdemeanor are:
- A fine of up to $4,000; and/or
- Up to a year in county jail.
Shoplifting Additional Resources
Kleptomania Support Group – Dailystrength.org is a communal internet space where support groups can communicate to each other via forums. Here you can message real living kleptomaniacs who are reaching out for support or help. Go online and join this group to seek advice from people who are also struggling with this addiction.
Texas Penal Code: Offenses against Property – Visit the Texas legislature and read the statutory language surrounding shoplifting instruments. Learn what qualifies as a retail theft tool, and the penalties associated with possession, manufacturing, and or distribution.
Find A Dallas County Defense Attorney for Shoplifting Instruments Charges | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
If you or someone you love has been arrested for shoplifting or related crimes, a conviction can create a permanent stain on your criminal record. Our attorneys are knowledgeable in fighting theft and shoplifting cases after an arrest by the local law enforcement agencies.