Shoplifting from Sephora in Texas

It can be very tempting to shoplift from a store like Sephora. The merchandise is compact and pricey, like jewelry, but unlike fine jewelry or makeup in a department store, the products are not tucked behind a glass counter but out on shelves within easy reach.

Because of this, Sephora has frequently been the target of shoplifting and the company has taken steps to prevent losses by installing high-resolution security cameras and hiring additional security personnel. Employees are trained to notice suspicious behavior and alert security. These measures make it easier for the company to prosecute shoplifters and stores frequently work closely with local police to help them obtain convictions.

If you’ve been caught shoplifting or accused of theft, it is important to understand how to protect your rights and avoid actions that could make your situation more difficult to defend. Advice and representation from a defense attorney could make a tremendous difference on the impact the situation will have on your future.

Shoplifting Can Be A Felony

Unlike robbery, which involves violence or the threat of injury, shoplifting seems to many people like a “minor” crime. However, if the value of property taken is worth over a certain amount, any type of theft can be prosecuted as a felony offense. Shoplifting can also be treated as a felony if an individual has two prior convictions for any theft crime.

The details of a situation impact how a crime can be charged, but the general guidelines applicable to shoplifting crimes specify that an offense is a:

  • Class C misdemeanor if the value of the property is less than $100 and it is a first offense
  • Class B misdemeanor if the value of the property is between $100 and $750 or the person charged has a prior theft conviction
  • Class A misdemeanor if the value of the property is between $750 and $2,500
  • State jail felony if the value of the property is between $2,500 and $30,000 or the person charged has two or more prior theft convictions

The offense can be aggravated to a more serious crime in certain situations, such as where the person committing the theft sets off a fire alarm, deactivates a fire alarm, or uses a shielding device to prevent detection of the theft. Carrying a weapon while committing a theft also increases the severity of the crime.

Penalties for Shoplifting in Texas

If you are convicted of shoplifting, the official penalties will depend on the value of the property stolen and the classification of the offense. However, the unofficial penalties are often much more problematic. Having a theft conviction on your record makes you appear untrustworthy, and the records are easily accessible to anyone who conducts a search online. A theft conviction will make potential employers very nervous about hiring you, and it can make potential landlords and even friends think twice about dealing with you.

The government can impose a fine on you if you are convicted of a theft crime. The amount of the fine cannot exceed $500 if your theft was treated as a Class C misdemeanor, but for a Class B misdemeanor the fine can be up to $2,000 and if the offense is a Class A misdemeanor it can be as high as $4,000. If you are convicted of a state jail felony, your fine could be any amount up to $10,000.

In addition, most shoplifting offenses carry the potential for jail time. For a Class B misdemeanor (theft under $750) you can be sentenced to six months of imprisonment and the sentence can be twice as long for a Class A misdemeanor. If you are convicted of a jail felony, the law imposes a minimum sentence of 6 months and a maximum of two years.

With the unofficial consequences impacting your reputation far into the future and the potential for substantial fines and imprisonment, it makes sense to invest in a strong defense strategy.

Defenses Against Shoplifting Charges

Depending on the situation, your defense attorney may have several options to fight shoplifting charges. This could include arguments that:

  • You lacked the intent to steal and took property by accident
  • You have been mistaken for the actual shoplifter shown on camera
  • The prosecution does not have sufficient evidence to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt
  • Evidence used against you was obtained illegally

In addition, it might be possible to get the charges reduced or seek deferred penalties.

The Experienced Team at Barbieri Law Fights Relentlessly to Protect You

When you’ve been charged with shoplifting or any other criminal offense, your future is in jeopardy. But the dedicated defense attorneys at Barbieri Law are ready to protect your rights and fight for the best outcome to secure your future. Call us at  972-424-1902 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.