How to Fight a Shoplifting Charge in Texas

By Jeff Kennedy

How to Fight a Shoplifting Charge in Texas

All theft convictions should be avoided at all costs. That includes those that are often thought of as minor, such as shoplifting.

Employers absolutely hate to see a theft charge on an applicant’s criminal record. That person could present a risk for the company. Employers often won’t even take the risk. They’ll simply move on to the next person.

Yes. Even a “minor” theft charge can have a major impact on your life. That’s why you need to learn how to fight a shoplifting charge in Texas.

Penalties Are Based on the Value of the Item Taken

Texas theft laws are distinct in that they don’t separate theft into different classifications. The seriousness of the charges is based on the value of the item(s) taken—not so much the circumstances around the offense. This is not necessarily a good thing.

Many states treat shoplifting as a lesser offense than stealing from an individual, embezzlement, etc. The crime that goes on your record in Texas won’t be “shoplifting.” It will be “theft.” Below is a table of the maximum legal punishments you’ll face if convicted of a minor theft charge in Texas:

Theft Offense Based on Item Value Max Penalties
Theft of item valued at less than $20

Class C misdemeanor

$500 fine
Theft of item valued between $20 and $500

Class B misdemeanor

Up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine
Theft of item valued between $500 and $1,500

Class A misdemeanor

Up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine
Theft of item valued between $1,500 and $20,000

State jail felony

Between 180 days and two years in state jail and a $10,000 fine


Tips to Help You Avoid a Shoplifting Conviction in Texas

Some tips that can help you keep a theft conviction off your record:

  • Don’t talk to the police without a lawyer present.
  • Hire a lawyer who can help you fight a shoplifting charge using one of the following defenses:
    • Mistake of fact
    • The property in question was yours
    • Intoxication defense
    • Mistaken identity
    • Entrapment
    • Miscalculation of the value of the item taken
    • Illegal search and seizure
    • Lack of intent

Speak with a Fort Worth Criminal Defense Lawyer

Having an idea of how to fight a shoplifting charge in Texas can give you a great start. Your next step is to call a criminal defense lawyer to continue your fight. Don’t risk a conviction ruining your life. Once a theft conviction places a mark on your criminal record, it’s next to impossible to get it removed.

Contact a defense attorney from the Law Offices of Jeff C. Kennedy. We will fight your charge by forming a strong defense for your unique case. Call our office at 817-605-1010 or complete the form below.


Jeff C. Kennedy was the light of hope at the end of very dark storm. He was not only able to defend my case swiftly, but had the alleged charges dismissed completely. His calm and empathetic demeanor offered emotional succor to myself and those I care about most. My children and I are eternally grateful for his excellent service and I hereby recommend Jeff C. Kennedy without reservation.


Jeff Kennedy truly cares. He and his staff kept me informed all the way throughout my case and provided me with all my options and the potential outcomes for my case. When the day finally arrived to resolve my case, Jeff was able to negotiate a reduction to a lesser charge. He was well prepared and coordinated everything perfectly. Jeff is not only a good lawyer, but a good man.


I hired Mr. Jeff Kennedy to handle a DWI charge. From day one, I knew I had picked the right attorney. Jeff always took the time to answer any of my questions, treated me very professionally, and truly cared about my case. I have never been in any kind of trouble before and I was very nervous about the thought of going to trial. Jeff thoroughly explained the entire process to me and made me feel at ease. Jeff took my case to trial and the jury found me NOT GUILTY!


Jeff Kennedy is a professional, intelligent, easy-to-talk-to lawyer with an excellent understanding of how the system works. Jeff was able to get my twice the legal limit BAC thrown out and he kept me from having an interlock device put on my car. This has been my only big mistake in life so far (hopefully the last) and I am glad he was there to walk me through it. You will not regret hiring him.

9133 Belshire Dr
North Richland Hills,
Texas 76182
301 W Vickery Blvd Suite #101
Fort Worth, Texas 76104
303 W Abram St
Texas 76010
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