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People make mistakes. Maybe you were down on your luck, made a poor choice because you were desperately in need of something, and got caught shoplifting. Perhaps there was a misunderstanding and you forgot to pay for an item. No matter the reason, if you were charged with shoplifting in the Houston area, you are going to need a good attorney to ensure your defense is adequate. So, if you are in search of a professional, dedicated shoplifting attorney who knows the ropes, please read on. You could have a lot at stake.
Shoplifting Charges Are Serious
In Texas, retailers take shoplifting very seriously and are almost always guaranteed to inform the police. They are also very likely to press charges. This is because shoplifting significantly damages the profits earned by large retailers, more so even than employee theft.
Because the shoplifting laws in Texas are ambiguous, it is in your best interest to have a competent defense team that is compassionate and in it to win it. Police officers in Texas have been known to respond to shoplifting differently, and aspects such as your race or age could affect how the situation is handled.
With the legal service of Christopher T. Gore, you will be in the hands of a seasoned professional who prioritizes your needs above all else. Christopher T. Gore is experienced in the field of shoplifting defense, and his team will stop at nothing to ensure justice for their clients.
What Can Happen if I Am Charged With Shoplifting?
If you are charged with shoplifting in the state of Texas, the amount that was stolen will determine the severity of the charge. The Texas penal code on theft is as follows:
- Class C misdemeanor: Fewer than $100
- Class B misdemeanor: From $100 to $750
- Class A misdemeanor: From $750 to $2,500
- State felonies: Any amount over $2,500
These various levels equate to different fines, penalties, and even incarceration. The maximum penalty for a Class B misdemeanor, for example, is a $2,000 fine and six months in jail. When you have been charged with stealing over $2,500, you could face up to a $10,000 fine and 2 years in prison.
A shoplifting charge comes with serious consequences, so why risk not having the optimal defense?
How Can a Shoplifting Attorney Help Me?
If you are charged with shoplifting in Houston, a theft defense attorney will explain the charges you are facing and the potential penalties you could face. He or she will make sure you understand what evidence the prosecution needs to prove in order to get a conviction.
An attorney will explain in plain terms what you are going up against. You will have a clear understanding of the punishment you could face, and he or she will give you the best options to fight the charge.
Not only will you be well informed, but you will be well represented should the case not settle out of court. A trial attorney has the persuasiveness and confidence to sway a jury in your favor, and excels in the high pace arena of the courtroom.
Additionally, a good attorney will dive deep into the details of the case to make sure none of your constitutional rights were violated in the process. Did the police perform any searches or seizures without probable cause? If detained, were you properly read your Miranda Rights?
These are some of the many questions your criminal defense attorney will ask in order to fight for your justice.
Call an Attorney Before You Do Anything
Being accused of something as serious as shoplifting is a terrifying situation to be in. Your accusers may treat you poorly and attempt to coerce a confession from you. The best choice you have is to remain silent and immediately contact an attorney.
Remember that you do not have to speak to the security guards and that only official police officers have the power to detain you. Say no more than what you must because anything you say could be used to incriminate you in a court of law.
Facing a criminal charge can be a scary and confusing scenario, and by choosing a qualified defense attorney, you lay rest to any uncertainties found in the process.
Whether You Are a First-Time Offender or You Have a Record, an Attorney Can Help
If this is your first offense, you may be expecting the judge to have more lenience. In some cases with minor crimes, this can be true. However, this is not based in any laws and every judge will be different.
An attorney will explain to you in clear detail how your criminal status, or lack thereof, could affect the outcome of your sentencing.
If you already have a criminal record, your penalties for a conviction could be more severe. For example, if you previously have a criminal record for a theft-related crime, any theft worth $100 or less would automatically be considered a Class B misdemeanor, rather than the typical Class C misdemeanor. While state penal codes ground this, it may also vary depending on the judge.
Do Not Wait to Contact an Attorney
With a charge that has the potential to affect your occupational opportunities, criminal record, and even your right to vote, it is of paramount importance that you do not wait to call an attorney. Without adequate representation, your lack of knowledge, in regard to the complex criminal justice system, will be used to exploit you.
Do not wait. Protect yourself and your family today by consulting a shoplifting attorney. Your very livelihood could be at stake.
For more information about our team, view our “About Us” page.