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If You’ve Been Charged with Shoplifting in TX, Here’s How to Fight Back

If you get charged with shoplifting in Texas, you must treat it as a very serious matter. Shoplifting is a form of theft. All theft cases, including shoplifting, are considered “ crimes of moral turpitude.” “Crimes of moral turpitude,” like theft, are crimes that reflect poorly on a person’s character for honesty.

Job applications routinely ask if a person has ever been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude. This question is asked because employers do not want to hire someone dishonest and might steal from them. For this reason, it is vitally important that a person do everything they legally can to avoid a shoplifting conviction. A shoplifting conviction can make it very difficult to obtain future employment.

To protect your future employability, hiring an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer is essential. You need an excellent criminal defense lawyer to help you fight your shoplifting charge and avoid the long-term negative impact of a conviction.

To prove shoplifting, the prosecution must show that the accused intentionally took merchandise from a store without paying for it. Consequently, it is a defense against shoplifting if the accused accidentally took something without intending to steal it.

An experienced criminal defense lawyer will examine all the prosecution’s evidence of any alleged shoplifting. If the prosecution’s case is based on eyewitness testimony, then the reliability of the eyewitness identification must be examined. An experienced criminal defense lawyer will examine whether the identification was reliable. He should ask:

What were the lighting conditions like at the time of the alleged theft?

How long did the eyewitness see the alleged event?

What description did the eyewitness give of the suspect?

Did the description match the accused?

What amount of time passed between the theft and the suspect’s apprehension?

What were the circumstances surrounding the identification?

Were the circumstances suggestive?

What did the officer say to the eyewitness before the identification was made?

How solid or certain was the identification?

All of these are factors that may be used to attack the reliability of the identification. Mistaken identification is quite common.

If the prosecution has security camera footage, it also must be examined. Store security cameras do not always produce clear results.

If the prosecution’s case is weak, the defense counsel may choose to push for dismissal.

If the prosecution’s case is strong, defense counsel may push for dismissal upon completing an anti-theft class. If the prosecution does not dismiss, the defense may wish to highlight the accused’s lack of criminal record and push for a pre-trial diversion agreement. A pre-trial diversion agreement is a written agreement between the prosecution and the defense. The agreement typically lasts one year. There are typically conditions like community service, but there is no guilty plea, no finding of guilt, and no conviction. Upon successful completion of a pretrial diversion agreement, the state agrees to dismiss the shoplifting charges. When the prosecution can make its case, this may be the best way to protect the accused from a conviction. A dismissal protects the accused’s record. Protecting their long-term record is vitally important when a person is charged with shoplifting.

Houston Shoplifting Lawyer

The Importance of Legal Representation: Why Hiring an Attorney Is Crucial

One of the most important steps to defend yourself against shoplifting charges is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney can help you navigate the legal process and build a strong defense strategy based on the specific circumstances of your case. They can also negotiate with the prosecution on your behalf and help you pursue alternative sentencing options if they are available.

Understanding your legal rights when facing shoplifting charges in Texas is important. For instance, you have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. It’s crucial to exercise these rights and avoid making statements to the police or the store’s security personnel without an attorney present. What you say can be used against you in court, so it’s important to be cautious and seek legal advice before speaking.

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