R. Todd Bennett, P.C. Board Certified, Criminal Law. Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
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Houston Shoplifting Defense Lawyer

Unlike many other criminal matters, shoplifting cases often involve defendants who have never been charged with a crime before. They are first offenders, they often have clean records, and they almost always have good jobs. These people stand to lose everything if they are convicted of shoplifting. So why did they do it?

More important questions that must be asked are “Did they do it?” and “Were their rights violated when they were arrested and accused of shoplifting?”

Are Shoplifting Charges Serious?

If a person is charged with shoplifting in Harris County, he or she is charged with theft. The case can be a misdemeanor theft case or even a felony theft case. Shoplifting cases are serious. If convicted, a person will have a permanent criminal record.

Who Do Shoplifting Charges Affect?

Although anyone can be accused of shoplifting, these charges tend to arise more often in two particular groups:

  • Educated professionals: Doctors, lawyers and people training to enter these and other high-achieving professions often have plenty of money and appear to be “set” in life. Unfortunately, the strain of these professions often drives these individuals toward risky behaviors — including shoplifting and other alleged criminal activity — to receive the emotional relief they require. I have helped many such professionals protect their licenses and reputations by having cases such as these dismissed (or avoiding formal charges altogether) due to the opinions of experts who can show exactly how aberrant and stress-related this behavior is.
  • Adolescents/young people: All too often, a young person shoplifts for the thrill of it, thinking that getting caught won’t be a “big deal.” What teenagers, high school graduates and other similarly situated youths fail to understand is that a conviction for retail theft can generate a criminal record that will affect their ability to get into college, obtain financial aid, find future employment, obtain housing and many other aspects of everyday life. These cases carry extra importance for those who are 17 or older, as they are treated as adults under Texas law and face increased scrutiny and do not have the possibility of having a juvenile criminal record sealed. With their entire future at stake, it is important for them to have the strongest possible representation.

Where To Turn For Help

If you are accused of shoplifting or theft, contact me, Houston shoplifting defense attorney R. Todd Bennett, at 713-489-7763. I will protect your rights and ensure that you are treated fairly. I will work to get your case dismissed. If the prosecutor refuses to dismiss the case, then you have a right to a jury trial where I will fight for your innocence.

As a former Harris County prosecutor, I have firsthand knowledge of the strategies that prosecutors use to pursue shoplifting cases; this insight allows me to craft effective defense cases that reduce or eliminate the consequences of theft-related offenses in Houston and throughout Texas.