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Shoplifting Instruments

Attorney for Possession of Retail Theft Instruments in San Antonio

If you were charged shoplifting or the related criminal offense of possessing, manufacturing, or distributing an instrument used to commit theft, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in San Antonio, TX, at Flanary Law Firm, PLLC.

Don Flanary represents clients charged with retail theft and related crimes throughout the greater San Antonio area including all of Bexar County and the surrounding counties of Kendall County, Comal County, Guadalupe County, Wilson County, Atascosa County, Medina County, and Bandera County.

Shoplifting Instruments

In some shoplifting cases, the person will use a shielding or deactivation instrument to commit retail theft. Texas Penal Code Section 31.15 prohibits the possession manufacture or distribution of certain types of instruments used to commit retail theft. The crime is charged as a Class A misdemeanor.

Texas law defines the term “shielding or deactivation instrument” to mean any item or tool designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of preventing the detection of stolen merchandise by a retail theft detector. The term specifically includes a metal-lined or foil-lined shopping bag and any item used to remove a security tag affixed to retail merchandise.

The term “retail theft detector” means an electrical, mechanical, electronic, or magnetic device used to prevent or detect shoplifting and includes any article or component part essential to the proper operation of the device.

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Elements of Possessing Retail Theft Tools in Texas

The elements of the offense of possessing an instrument used to commit retail theft include:

  • The defendant acted with the intent to use the instrument;
  • To commit theft; and
  • By possessing a shielding or deactivation instrument; or
  • By knowingly manufacturing, selling, offering for sale, or otherwise distributing a shielding or deactivation instrument.

Most shoplifting or retail theft crimes involve a person unlawfully appropriating property with the intent to deprive the owner of the property. The owner of the property is usually a merchant at a retail establishment. Texas law provides that appropriation of property is unlawful under the following conditions:

  • It is without the owner’s effective consent;
  • The property is stolen and the person appropriates the property knowing it was stolen by another;
  • Property in the custody of any law enforcement agency was explicitly represented by any law enforcement agent to the person as being stolen and the person appropriates the property believing it was stolen by another.

For purposes of the Texas statute prohibiting retail theft, the term “appropriate” means to bring about a transfer or purported transfer or title to or other nonpossessory interest in the property, whether to the actor or another; to acquire or otherwise exercise control over property other than real property.

The term “deprive” means to:

  • Withhold property from the owner permanently or for so extended a period of time that a major portion of the value or enjoyment of the property is lost to the owner;
  • To restore property only upon payment of reward or other compensation;
  • To dispose of the property in a manner that makes recovery of the property by the owner unlikely.

The term “owner” means a person who has title to the property, possession of the property, or a greater right to possession of the property than the person charged.

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Why Choose Flanary Law Firm, PLLC?

  • Constant Communication
    At our firm, we always want our clients to feel empowered when defending against criminal charges. We aim to constantly communicate with our clients, answering questions and taking feedback as we progress through the case. We are always here to answer your questions or adjust your legal strategy as needed.
  • A History of Results
    With multiple decades of experience between our attorneys, we have a history of proven results and happy clients. We always aim to get a criminal case dismissed or have the charges lowered to reduce any penalties our clients are facing. We are confident we can get you the results you deserve.
  • Experience You Can Count On
    At our firm, we pride ourselves on the diverse range of criminal cases we have worked on. From federal felony charges to state misdemeanors, we know exactly how to build a defense strategy that's right for you. Our team can handle even the most complex cases and are willing to be flexible with our strategies.
  • Advice on Your Timeline
    We understand that all criminal cases work at different paces. Whether you are just looking around for a lawyer because you're under investigation or you need immediate representation, our team can help. We will work with you no matter where you are in the process to protect your rights.
  • Free Initial Consultations
    We understand that hiring a criminal defense attorney is a big decision that many people need time to make. That's why we offer all our potential clients a free consultation to see if we're the right legal team for them. We will review your case and begin building a legal strategy to defend your rights.
  • Personalized Legal Defense Strategies
    All criminal cases are different, so our dense strategies are too. We would never re-use a legal strategy from one client to the next because your case is too unique. We will always build a defense strategy that's personalized and effective for you to get the outcome you deserve.

Attorney for Possessing a Shoplifting Instrument in Bexar County, TX

If you were charged with shoplifting or retail theft in San Antonio, TX. Don Flanary also represents clients on the related charges of possessing, manufacturing, or distributing a shoplifting instrument used to commit theft, then contacts an experienced criminal defense attorney in San Antonio, TX.

With offices in San Antonio, TX, Don Flanary is experienced in defending theft crimes and represents clients throughout Bexar County and the surrounding counties of Kendall County, Comal County, Guadalupe County, Wilson County, Atascosa County, Medina County, and Bandera County.

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