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Organized Retail Theft

The Organized Retail Theft crime in the state of Texas gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you operate as a “fence” for the theft of retail merchandise. Learn more detailed information about the Organized Retail Theft offense below.

Have you been charged with Organized Retail Theft? Call criminal lawyer Paul Saputo at (888) 239-9305.

Organized Retail Theft is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 7 “Offenses Against Property,” Chapter 31 “Theft.”

What is the law in Texas about Organized Retail Theft?

The offense is described in Section 31.16 of the Texas Penal Code.

(b) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally conducts, promotes, or facilitates an activity in which the person receives, possesses, conceals, stores, barters, sells, or disposes of:

(1) stolen retail merchandise; or

(2) merchandise explicitly represented to the person as being stolen retail merchandise.

How can I be charged with Organized Retail Theft?

You can be charged with Organized Retail Theft if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 31.16(b) as described in the section above have been met.

What is the punishment for Organized Retail Theft?

If the total value of merchandise involved in the theft is less than $100 then a conviction for Organized Retail Theft is punished as a Class C misdemeanor,1 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $500.

If the total value of merchandise involved in the theft is $100 or more but less than $750 then a conviction for Organized Retail Theft is punished as a Class B misdemeanor,2 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $2,000 and jail time of up to 180 days.

If the total value of merchandise involved in the theft is $750 or more but less than $2,500 then a conviction for Organized Retail Theft is punished as a Class A misdemeanor,3 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $4,000 and jail time of up to one year.

If the total value of merchandise involved in the theft is $2,500 or more but less than $30,000 then a conviction for Organized Retail Theft is punished as a State Jail Felony,4 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and jail time of up to two years.

If the total value of merchandise involved in the theft is $30,000 or more but less than $150,000 then a conviction for Organized Retail Theft is punished as a Felony of the Third Degree,5 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and prison time of up to 10 years.

If the total value of merchandise involved in the theft is $150,000 or more but less than $300,000 then a conviction for Organized Retail Theft is punished as a Felony of the Second Degree,6 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and prison time of up to 20 years.

If the total value of merchandise involved in the theft is $300,000 then a conviction for Organized Retail Theft is punished as a Felony of the Second Degree,7 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and up to life in prison.Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors


Legal References:

1Texas Penal Code Section 31.16(c)(1)

2Texas Penal Code Section 31.16(c)(2)

3Texas Penal Code Section 31.16(c)(3)

4Texas Penal Code Section 31.16(c)(4)

5Texas Penal Code Section 31.16(c)(5)

6Texas Penal Code Section 31.16(c)(6)

7Texas Penal Code Section 31.16(c)(7)

Published by Criminal Defense Attorney on and last modified