If your teenage child has been accused of shoplifting, it’s likely that you are concerned about how this could affect their future. Often, teenagers involved in petty crimes have a higher likelihood of being involved in serious crimes and going to jail later in life. Therefore, as a parent, you should see this as a chance to address the root cause of your child’s behavior so that they have a promising future.
One of the first things you should do after learning that your child has been accused of shoplifting is to find out how the law is likely to apply to them. By doing this, you’ll be able to get a good idea of the charges they could face and begin to consider the defense options. The following is an overview of how shoplifting and wider theft offenses are treated in Texas.
Texas shoplifting crimes fall under theft laws
In some states, there are specific laws for acts of shoplifting. However, in Texas, acts of shoplifting fall under the general definition of theft in the Texas Penal Code.
The definition of theft in Texas
In Texas, the criminal act of theft is defined as the unlawful appropriation of property with the intent of depriving the owner of their property. Instruments that enable the act of shoplifting are also illegal to possess.
The consequences of the act of shoplifting in Texas
The seriousness of the charges a guilty person will face will depend on the value of the items stolen. If the value of the property stolen was less than $100, the person will face a Class C misdemeanor. On the other end of the spectrum, a person who is found guilty of shoplifting property more than $300,000 will be charged with a first-degree felony.
If you are concerned about your child being accused of shoplifting in Texas, make sure that you take action to understand how you can help them.