What are the legal consequences for shoplifting a $34 item in TX?

UPDATED: May 28, 2009

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What are the legal consequences for shoplifting a $34 item in TX?

I’m 19 and I was recently caught shoplifting at a JCPenney in Texas. The item was valued around $34 and I received a ticket. What will happen when I go to court? Will JCPenney be contacting me for civil damages?

Asked on May 28, 2009 under Criminal Law, Texas


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Assuming this is a first offense, under Texas law theft of an item less than $50.00 is considered to be a Class C misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of up to $500.00.

In the Texas Penal Code I also found in § 12.03. (c),  "Conviction of a Class C misdemeanor does not impose any legal disability or disadvantage".  I'm not exactly certain as to the implications of this for you.  Speak to an attorney in your area about this and ask how it may affect a process known as "expungement";  essentially a legal procedure that allows you to clear your criminal record.

As to what Penny's will do from a civil standpoint is up to them. 

Good luck.

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