How to Fight a Shoplifting Charge in Texas

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Shoplifting is treated as a theft crime in Texas, and penalties for individual crimes are directly tied to the monetary value of the items taken. But if you've been caught shoplifting, that doesn't mean you can't defend yourself against a conviction. A criminal defense attorney can help you.

For you to be convicted of a shoplifting charge in Texas, the prosecution has to prove that you intentionally hid or concealed an item because you were going to steal it. It must also prove that you fully intended to deprive the store of that item without paying for it.

Defenses to Shoplifting and Theft Charges

Even if you've been caught "red-handed," as they say, that doesn't always mean you intended to steal an item. Sometimes, people are absentminded and walk out of a store before paying for an item-it's a complete accident. Or maybe you've been accused of stealing an item, but you really bought that item elsewhere.

The details of your unique situation can be discussed with your criminal defense attorney, but here are some general defenses that can be used to fight a shoplifting charge in Texas:

    • Discredit Witness Testimony - Sometimes, a witness thinks he or she saw you do something but isn't really sure. Your attorney can try to show that the witness was just guessing that you were stealing.
    • Lack of Probable Cause - If you were detained or searched illegally without probable cause, the case could be thrown out.
    • No Evidence - If there is no video footage or witness to the theft or the items in question weren't found on your person, it's very unlikely you will be convicted of shoplifting if you have a Texas defense lawyer to point that out for you.


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