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  • Writer's pictureBrian Foley

Houston Criminal Defense Attorney - What happens when you get arrested for Theft in Houston, Texas?

Houston Criminal Defense Attorney - Brian Foley - Board Certified in Criminal Law

So what happens when you get arrested for theft in Houston, Texas? Well the most likely place to get arrested for theft is Wal-Mart. And ever since the self checkout line was invented more and more people are being arrested for theft for alleged skipping of scanning of items.

What is Skip Scanning? Skip scanning, also known as "sweethearting," refers to a type of retail fraud in which store employees or their friends and family members scan certain items at a lower price, or sometimes not at all, while they or their accomplices are taking the items out of the store without paying full price or at all. This type of shoplifting is particularly difficult for retailers to detect, because the employees or their accomplices already have access to the store and the ability to bypass security measures.

When the act is done at the self-checkout line then it can be detected on the various camera systems in place. If a loss prevention officer with Wal-Mart believes you have engaged in shoplifting or skip scanning theft then they will attempt to detain you using the shopkeeper's privilege.

In the state of Texas, the shopkeeper's privilege, also known as the "shopkeeper's right of detention," allows store owners and employees to detain a suspected shoplifter on the store's property for a reasonable period of time in order to investigate and confirm whether a crime has been committed.

This principle is important for retailers in Texas as it enables them to take steps to protect their property from theft and to deter shoplifters.

According to Texas law, a merchant has the right to detain a person for a reasonable amount of time if they have probable cause to believe that person has committed theft, commonly known as shoplifting. During the detention, the merchant may ask the person questions and conduct a search of their person and belongings, but the merchant must use reasonable means and the individual must be released if no stolen items are found. This privilege applies not only to the actual act of shoplifting, but also to the act of possessing stolen property.

It's important to note that the shopkeeper's privilege in Texas applies only to the detention of suspected shoplifters and not to making a citizen's arrest, and it is not applicable if the detention turns out to be false arrest. In the event of a false arrest, the individual detained can file a lawsuit against the store owner for false imprisonment. Retailers should be aware of the laws in Texas, and ensure that they are following the proper procedures when detaining a suspected shoplifter.

Retailers in Texas should also have a clear and visible policy regarding the shopkeeper's privilege prominently displayed in their store so that customers are aware of the store's policy and their rights. This will not only help to prevent misunderstandings and potential legal issues, but it also protects the store owner and employees from potential civil liability.

After the store loss prevention officers detain you then they will call the police and a police officer will take you to the jail if they determine there is probable cause for an arrest for theft.

In Houston, Texas, individuals who are arrested for a crime are typically taken to one of the city's local jails for processing and booking. Eventually you will make it to the Joint Processing Center at 700 N San Jacinto Street in downtown Houston, Texas.

Once at the jail, the arrestee will go through a booking process, which includes fingerprinting, mug shots, and a background check. The arrestee's personal belongings will also be searched and catalogued. After the booking process is completed, the individual will be assigned a cell or placed in a holding area to await further processing.

Depending on the severity of the crime, some arrestees may be taken to a specialized facility such as the Harris County Mental Health Jail, which is located on the grounds of the Harris County Psychiatric Center. This facility is specifically designed to handle individuals who have been arrested and determined to have a mental health condition.

Another option for individuals who have been arrested is the Harris County Pretrial Services, this is a program that supervises defendants who have been released on bond or personal recognizance. This program ensures that defendants show up to court and comply with other conditions of release.

It's important to note that arrestees may also be transferred to another facility if they are charged with a federal crime or if they are unable to make bail. Individuals who are charged with a federal crime will typically be held at the Joe Corley Detention Facility, located in Conroe, Texas, or the Metropolitan Correction Center, located in downtown Houston.

It is also worth mentioning that after the arrest, the individual will be brought before a judge within 24 hours of the arrest, this is commonly known as the "Magistration" where they will be informed of the charges against them and the judge will set a bond.

In conclusion, if you are arrested in Houston, Texas, you will likely be taken to the Harris County Jail for processing and booking. Depending on the specific circumstances of your arrest, you may be taken to a specialized facility or transferred to another facility if you are charged with a federal crime. It's important to understand the legal process and to have an attorney to guide you through the process as it can be complicated.

The Joint Processing Center (JPC) in Houston, Texas is a facility that is used by multiple law enforcement agencies for the processing and booking of individuals who have been arrested. The JPC is jointly operated by the Houston Police Department (HPD) and the Harris County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) and serves as a central location for the booking and processing of individuals who have been arrested by both agencies.

The facility is open 24/7 and is responsible for the intake, booking and transportation of arrestees, as well as the disposition of their property and belongings. Once individuals arrive at the JPC, they go through a booking process that includes fingerprinting, mug shots, and a background check. Any personal belongings will also be searched and catalogued. After the booking process is completed, the individual will be assigned to a cell or placed in a holding area to await further processing.

The JPC is also responsible for coordinating transportation of individuals who are arrested and need to be transferred to another facility. This includes individuals who are charged with a federal crime and will be held at the Joe Corley Detention Facility in Conroe, Texas or the Metropolitan Correction Center in downtown Houston.

The JPC is designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the booking and processing process for individuals who have been arrested. By consolidating the booking and processing functions of multiple agencies in one location, the JPC eliminates the need for arrestees to be transported to multiple locations for processing. Additionally, it allows for the more efficient use of resources and improves the ability of law enforcement agencies to share information and coordinate their efforts.

When the judge sets your bond you may then bond out of jail and retain an attorney to help you fight the case in Court!

Call Houston Criminal Defense Attorneys PLLC for your free consultation today.


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