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Will I Go to Jail for Retail Theft in Pennsylvania?

shoplifting defense lawyer erie paIf you’ve been recently arrested or charged with retail theft, it’s crucial that you know what the possible penalties you’ll be facing are. Below, we take a look at what shoplifting is, the penalties you may be facing and how a criminal defense attorney can help defend against your charges. Read more below.

What is Shoplifting?

According to Pennsylvania Code, Section 3929, an individual may be found guilty of retail theft if:

  • They remove merchandise from a store
  • They alter or remove a price tag
  • They change the packaging of the item to trick the cashier of the item’s full value
  • They under-ring an item
  • They destroy or remove a security strip

While a lot of people realize that retail theft involves the taking of goods that weren’t paid for, it’s often overlooked that it can also extend to altering the price of an item even if the item wasn’t physically stolen from the store. Anything that attempts to defraud a store can be constituted as retail theft, under Pennsylvania law.

What Are the Penalties for Retail Theft?

If the amount of goods stolen and/or altered totaled less than $150, it is considered a summary offense. A summary offense is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a monetary fine up to $300. The penalties for retail theft increase based on the amount of merchandise taken. If the amount of goods taken exceeds $1,000 or if the item taken was a motor vehicle or firearm, individuals will be facing a third-degree felony. A third-degree felony is punishable by up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Individuals who steal more than $2,000 in value or a motor-propelled vehicle will also be charged with a third-degree felony.

If you’ve been charged with retail theft, you don’t have to go through this alone. There are options available to you. Your criminal defense attorney may be able to reduce your charges or strike a plea bargain, especially if this was your first summary offense.

Contact an Experienced Millcreek Criminal Defense Attorney About Your Retail Theft Charges in Pennsylvania

Have you been charged with shoplifting or theft in Pennsylvania? A conviction could leave you with a permanent record, jail time and license suspension. That is why it is imperative that you speak with a qualified criminal defense lawyer about your case. The lawyers at Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. represent clients charged with retail theft in Erie, Millcreek, Harborcreek, Fairview, and throughout Pennsylvania. Call (814) 273-2010 or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office located at 2525 W 26th St, Erie, PA 16506, in addition to offices located in Meadville and North East, PA.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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Mr. George and his entire office staff were very kind and helping me through my first ever experience with the law. He was able to get me exactly what he said he would in the outcome of my trial. The entire staff was very informative and kept me up to date on everything. Very pleased with my experience and would most definately recommend him to others.

Allison, July 8, 2017