Bryan Shoplifting Attorney

Shoplifting is a serious criminal offense in Texas, even if it is your first offense. If you are convicted, you could face serious penalties, including fines and jail time. The good news is that you do not have to face these charges alone. Our Bryan shoplifting attorney can help you fight the charges against you and protect your rights.

Are you facing a shoplifting charge in Texas? Call Shane Phelps Law today at (979) 775-4100 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with our shoplifting lawyer in Bryan!

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What Is Considered Shoplifting in Texas?

Shoplifting in Texas involves:

  • Intentionally taking merchandise from a store without paying for it
  • Concealing merchandise with the intent to steal it
  • Altering price tags or packaging
  • Transferring merchandise from one container to another with the intent to steal it

It is a form of theft and can result in criminal charges and penalties.

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What are the Penalties for Shoplifting in Texas?

The penalties for shoplifting in Texas can vary depending on the value of the stolen merchandise and other factors, but here are some possible consequences:

  • For merchandise valued at less than $100, shoplifting is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500.
  • For merchandise valued at between $100 and $750, shoplifting is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
  • For merchandise valued at between $750 and $2,500, shoplifting is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.
  • For merchandise valued at between $2,500 and $30,000, shoplifting is a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • For merchandise valued at more than $30,000, shoplifting is a third-degree felony punishable by up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

It's worth noting that these penalties can vary based on factors such as the criminal history of the offender and other factors and that shoplifting can also result in civil penalties, such as having to pay restitution to the store or being sued by the store for damages.

What Should I Do If I'm Arrested on Shoplifting Charges in Bryan, TX?

If you are arrested on shoplifting charges in Bryan, TX, here are some key steps you should take:

  • Remain calm and polite: Cooperate with the police, but remember that you have the right to remain silent. Do not argue or resist arrest, as this could lead to additional charges.
  • Request an attorney: Invoke your right to legal counsel. Refrain from answering any questions or providing a statement until you have spoken with a lawyer.
  • Contact a criminal defense attorney: Look for an experienced criminal defense lawyer who has handled shoplifting cases in Bryan, TX. They can guide you through the legal process and help protect your rights.
  • Gather information: Provide your attorney with any relevant information about the incident, including witness contact information, receipts, or any other evidence that may support your case.
  • Attend all court hearings: Your attorney will advise you on the court proceedings and will likely appear on your behalf. However, make sure to attend all required court hearings to avoid additional legal issues.
  • Consider plea bargains or diversion programs: Depending on the severity of the offense and your criminal history, your attorney may negotiate a plea bargain or seek alternative sentencing options, such as diversion programs or community service, to minimize potential penalties.
  • Comply with court orders: If convicted, follow all court orders and complete any required sentencing, such as paying fines or attending counseling, to avoid further legal consequences.

Remember, shoplifting charges can result in serious penalties, including fines, probation, and even jail time. It's essential to take the matter seriously and seek experienced legal guidance to protect your rights and minimize the potential consequences of a conviction.

How Can an Attorney Help Me with My Bryan Shoplifting Charges?

An experienced attorney can provide significant assistance if you're facing shoplifting charges in Bryan, TX. Here are several ways an attorney can help:

  • Legal Knowledge and Guidance: An attorney can explain the specific laws related to shoplifting in Texas, including potential penalties and the legal process you will face. They can help you understand the charges against you and what the prosecution needs to prove for a conviction.
  • Rights Protection: Your attorney will ensure that law enforcement and prosecutors don't violate your constitutional rights throughout the legal process and that you receive fair treatment and an impartial hearing. Your lawyer can challenge any illegal search and seizure or violations of your Miranda rights.
  • Case Assessment: An attorney will thoroughly review the details of your case, including the evidence, witness statements, and any available surveillance footage. They will identify weaknesses in the prosecution's case and determine the most effective defense strategy.
  • Defense Strategy: Depending on the specifics of your case, your attorney might argue lack of intent, mistake of fact, duress, or other applicable defenses. They can negotiate with the prosecutor to potentially reduce the charges or dismiss the case based on insufficient evidence or procedural errors.
  • Plea Negotiations: If appropriate, your attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor for a plea deal, which might involve reduced charges or a lesser sentence. They will work to achieve the best possible outcome, such as diversion programs, community service, or probation instead of jail time.
  • Court Appearances: Your attorney will represent you in court, making all necessary appearances and handling pre-trial motions, hearings, and the trial itself. They will present your defense, cross-examine witnesses, and make arguments on your behalf.
  • Jury Selection and Trial: If your case goes to trial, your attorney will be crucial in selecting an impartial jury and presenting a strong defense. They will develop a compelling narrative, present evidence, and challenge the prosecution's case to create reasonable doubt.
  • Sentence Mitigation: If you are convicted, your attorney can present mitigating factors to the court to argue for a lighter sentence. They might highlight your lack of prior criminal history, contributions to the community, or personal circumstances that warrant leniency.
  • Post-Conviction Relief: Your attorney can also help you with appeals or post-conviction relief options. They can assist with expungement or sealing of records if you are eligible, helping to minimize the long-term impact of a conviction on your life.
  • Guidance and Support: An attorney provides not only legal guidance but also emotional support during a stressful time. They can help you understand each step of the process, what to expect, and how to best prepare for your defense.
  • Knowledge of Local Courts: An attorney with experience in Bryan, TX will be familiar with local court procedures, judges, and prosecutors. This local knowledge can be advantageous in navigating the legal system and negotiating favorable outcomes.
  • Community Connections: A local attorney may have established relationships with key figures in the legal community, which can be beneficial in negotiating deals or gathering information.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can provide invaluable assistance at every stage of your shoplifting case, from initial consultation and case evaluation to courtroom representation and post-conviction relief. Their experience, negotiation skills, and knowledge of the local legal system can help you achieve the best possible outcome and minimize the impact of the charges on your life.

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Choosing the Right Shoplifting Defense Attorney in Bryan

Choosing the right shoplifting defense attorney in Bryan, TX is critical to ensure you receive the best possible outcome for your case. Here are some steps and tips to help you make an informed decision:

Research and Identify Potential Attorneys

Use directories such as Avvo, Martindale-Hubbell, and Super Lawyers to find attorneys who specialize in criminal defense and have experience with shoplifting cases. Review the websites of local law firms to learn more about their attorneys, areas of expertise, and case results.

Ask friends, family, or colleagues if they can recommend a good criminal defense attorney. If you have an attorney for another matter, ask them for a referral to a criminal defense lawyer.

Check the Texas State Bar Association's website for a list of licensed attorneys in Bryan, TX who handle criminal defense.

Evaluate Experience and Knowledge

Ensure the attorney has in-depth knowledge of Texas criminal law and extensive experience in criminal defense, specifically shoplifting cases. Experience with similar cases can be crucial to a successful defense. Look for an attorney with a proven track record of successfully defending clients against shoplifting charges. Check for case results and client testimonials.

Schedule Consultations

Many attorneys offer free initial consultations. Use this opportunity to discuss your case and get a sense of their approach and expertise. Come to the consultation prepare to address the following questions:

  • How many shoplifting cases have you handled? What were the outcomes?
  • What is your initial assessment of my case? What defense strategies might you use?
  • What is your fee structure? Are there additional costs (e.g., for investigators or expert witnesses)?
  • How will we communicate throughout the case? How often will I receive updates?

Assess Compatibility and Comfort

You should feel comfortable with the attorney, as you will be working closely together. Trust and good communication are essential. Evaluate their professionalism, responsiveness, and willingness to address your concerns. An attentive and respectful attorney can make a significant difference in your case experience.

Check Credentials and Professional Standing

Verify the attorney’s educational background, certifications, and any specialized training in criminal law. Check if the attorney has any disciplinary actions or complaints filed against them with the Texas State Bar Association.

Make an Informed Decision

After meeting with several attorneys, compare their experience, approach, fees, and your overall comfort level with each one. Choose the attorney who you believe has the best combination of experience, expertise, and personal rapport to handle your case effectively.

Additional Considerations

An attorney with experience in Bryan, TX will be familiar with local court procedures, judges, and prosecutors, which can be advantageous for your defense. Consider whether the attorney has access to resources like investigators, expert witnesses, and support staff who can help build a robust defense.

By following these steps, you can choose a shoplifting defense attorney in Bryan, TX who is well-equipped to represent you and help achieve the best possible outcome for your case.

Defenses to Shoplifting Charges

There are a few defenses that a person accused of shoplifting in Texas might be able to use to fight the charges. Here are some possible defenses:

  • Mistaken identity: The accused person may argue that they were not the person who committed the theft and was mistaken for someone else.
  • Lack of intent: To be convicted of shoplifting, the prosecution must prove that the accused person intended to steal the merchandise. If the person can show that they did not have the intent to steal, such as if they accidentally forgot to pay for an item, they may be able to avoid a conviction.
  • Coercion: If someone was coerced or forced into committing the shoplifting, they may be able to argue that they were not acting of their own free will and should not be held responsible for the theft.
  • Involuntary intoxication: If a person was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the alleged shoplifting and was not in control of their actions, they may be able to argue that they did not have the mental state necessary to commit the crime.
  • Illegal search and seizure: If the evidence against the accused person was obtained through an illegal search or seizure, such as if the police did not have a warrant to search their person or property, the evidence may be suppressed, and the charges may be dropped.

It's important to note that the effectiveness of these defenses will depend on the case's specific circumstances and that it's best to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney if you're facing shoplifting charges.

Contact Our Bryan Shoplifting Lawyer Today 

If you face shoplifting charges in Texas, you must contact our firm immediately. Our Bryan shoplifting lawyer can review your case and help you develop a plan of action. You need a strong and experienced legal advocate on your side.

Contact Shane Phelps Law today to schedule a FREE consultation with our shoplifting attorney in Bryan!