Shoplifting / Retail Theft

Shoplifting / Retail Theft allegations in Dallas can be very embarrassing and can often arise from false accusations. Many merchants and retail store managers are so cautious about preventing theft that they will make shoplifting accusations without sufficient evidence or proof.

Shoplifting / Retail Theft offenses can result in serious penalties, including jail or prison time, steep fines, restitution to the alleged victim, a criminal record, and/or ineligibility to pursue certain educational opportunities, professions, or occupations.

If you have been charged with shoplifting in Dallas, it is very important to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will make every effort to find defenses or mitigating factors to your alleged retail theft offense.

Shoplifting / Retail Theft

Dallas Shoplifting / Retail Theft Lawyer

If you have been charged with Shoplifting / Retail Theft in Dallas, or any of the surrounding areas in Texas, including Garland, Irving, Grand Prairie, Denton, Plano, McKinney, Fort Worth, Rockwall, Johnson, Wise, Ellis, Arlington, Mesquite, Carrolton, Richardson, Lewisville or Frisco, contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy.

Dallas criminal defense attorney Richard McConathy is knowledgeable in all areas of Texas’ theft laws and will make every effort to fight the allegations against you. Call Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy for a free consultation at (972) 233-5700 about your alleged retail theft offense.


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Dallas Shoplifting / Retail Theft Offenses

As defined in Tex. Penal Code § 31.03, an individual can be charged with retail theft or shoplifting if they intentionally and unlawfully take the property from a store, retailer, or merchant, with the intent to deprive the store or retailer of the property without their consent.

Retail theft or shoplifting generally occurs at large department stores or merchants, such as Dillard’s, Wal-Mart, Target, the Galleria, Macy’s, CVS, and Toys ‘R’ Us. In addition to generally taking items from a store, an individual can be charged with shoplifting if they:

  • Switch price tags on items,
  • Switch the packaging of certain items,
  • Return a stolen item for cash or store credit, or
  • Changing a price tag to indicate a lower price.

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Dallas Shoplifting / Retail Theft Penalties

The penalties for retail theft can vary depending on the value of the property stolen, whether the alleged offender has any previous convictions, the type of property stolen, and how the alleged offender committed the act. The basic statutory penalties for shoplifting offenses are as follows:

  • An individual can be convicted of a Class C misdemeanor if the value of the allegedly stolen property is less than $50. A conviction for this degree of offense is punishable by a fine of up to $500.
  • An individual can be convicted of a Class B misdemeanor if the value of the allegedly stolen property is $50 or more but less than $500. Additionally, if the amount of the allegedly stolen property is less than $50, but the alleged offender has a previous theft conviction, they can be convicted of a Class B misdemeanor. A conviction for this degree of offense is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine up to $2,000.
  • An individual can be convicted of a Class A misdemeanor if the value of the allegedly stolen property is $500 or more but less than $1,500. A conviction for this degree of offense is punishable by no more than one year in jail and/or a fine up to $4,000.
  • An individual can be convicted of a state jail felony if the value of the allegedly stolen property is $1,500 or more but less than $20,000. Additionally, if the amount of the allegedly stolen property is less than $1,500, but the alleged offender has two or more previous theft convictions, they can be convicted of a state jail felony. This degree of offense is punishable by 180 days to two years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000. 
  • An individual can be convicted of a felony of the third degree if the value of the allegedly stolen property is $20,000 or more but less than $100,000. This degree of offense is punishable by two to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
  • An individual can be convicted of a felony of the second degree if the value of the allegedly stolen property is $100,000 or more but less than $200,000. This degree of offense is punishable by two to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
  • An individual can be convicted of a felony of the first degree if the value of the allegedly stolen property is $200,000 or more. This degree of offense is punishable by five to 99 years in prison or life imprisonment and/or a fine up to $10,000.

Additionally, an individual that has been charged with a criminal theft offense may be liable for civil penalties under Texas Theft Liability Act. According to the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 134.005, anyone who has been a victim of theft can sue the alleged offender, or their parents if the offender is under the age of 18, for actual damages, punitive (punishment) damages, court costs, and attorney’s fees.


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Dallas Organized Shoplifting / Retail Theft

An individual can be charged with committing organized Shoplifting / Retail Theft under Tex. Penal Code § 31.16 if they intentionally conduct, promote or facilitate an activity where they receive, possess, conceal, store, barter, sell or dispose of:

  • Stolen retail merchandise valued at $1,500 or more, including tangible personal property, displayed, held, stored, or offered for sale in a retail establishment; or
  • Merchandise valued at $1,500 or more the alleged offender was told was stolen retail merchandise.

Organized retail theft is more commonly associated with professional shoplifting rings, retail crime rings, and organized crime in a retail environment.


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Organized Shoplifting / Retail Theft Penalties in Dallas

An individual can be convicted of a state jail felony organized Shoplifting / Retail Theft if the merchandise was valued at $1,500 or more but less than $20,000. A state jail felony offense is punishable by 180 days to two years in jail and/or a fine up to $10,000.

An individual can be convicted of a felony of a third-degree organized retail theft if the merchandise was valued at $20,000 or more but less than $100,000. A felony of the third-degree offense is punishable by two to 10 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000.

An individual can be convicted of a felony of a second-degree organized retail theft if the merchandise was valued at $100,000 or more but less than $200,000. A felony of the second-degree offense is punishable by two to 20 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000,

An individual can be convicted of a felony of a first-degree organized retail theft if the merchandise was valued at $200,000 or more. A felony of the first-degree offense is punishable by five to 99 years in prison or life imprisonment and/or a fine up to $10,000.

The degree of conviction can increase to the next higher degree if:

  • The alleged offender organized, supervised, or managed other people in the theft ring; or
  • During the commission of the offense, they intentionally activated an alarm in the store to create a distraction.

For example, if the alleged offender committed a second-degree felony organized retail theft offense, their charges could be increased to a felony of the first degree.


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Find a Dallas Shoplifting / Retail Theft Attorney | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy

Contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today for a consultation about your alleged retail theft offense throughout Dallas County in Texas.  Richard McConathy is an experienced Dallas theft crimes lawyer who will make every effort to help you achieve the most desirable outcome for your particular situation.

Call (972) 233-5700 or submit an online form for a consultation about your shoplifting charges throughout Dallas County in Texas and the surrounding counties of Denton County, Collin County, and Tarrant County.


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