purchase, george & murphey.
purchase, george & murphey.
Conviction for retail theft can carry consequences that are much more serious than you may initially believe. In some professions, you may be required to disclose any criminal convictions or arrests for theft-related crimes, and a conviction will go on your permanent record—which is accessible by potential employers. You can face jail time even if this is your first offense, and even if the stolen property had a relatively low value.
After being accused of, or arrested for, retail theft, you may be feeling embarrassed or afraid of the potential consequences that conviction could bring—but this is no excuse to delay retaining experienced legal counsel to build a strong defense in your case. At Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C., we have the experience necessary to obtain the best possible outcome in your case. Our skilled criminal defense lawyers have successfully represented hundreds of clients and fight for our clients’ rights behind the scenes and in court on a daily basis.
18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Sec. 3929 defines retail theft to include a variety of different circumstances where the defendant has attempted to obtain merchandise without paying the full retail value. You can be convicted for retail theft in circumstances where you:
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The criminal penalties that attach when you have been convicted for retail theft depend upon the value of the merchandise that was stolen and your past criminal history of retail theft, as follows:
Intent is an important element to establishing guilt in a retail theft case in Pennsylvania, but the prosecution is entitled to presume that you intended to steal the item if you have somehow concealed the merchandise, even if you are still in the store. Our lawyers can explore the potential defense of lack of intent, and will fight to show that the prosecution has not met its burden of proof in proving every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Potential defense strategies for retail theft charges include, but are not limited to:
Call our offices or fill out this online form, to schedule a confidential consultation with our experienced retail theft defense lawyers today. For your convenience, we have three office locations located at 2525 W.26th St., Erie, PA 16506, 310 Chestnut St., Suite 111, Meadville, PA 16335 (in the Masonic Building) and 68 East Main Street, North East, PA 16428.
FAQ: If I am guilty of retail theft, are there any available options that can help me avoid having a criminal record for the future? +
If this is your first offense, and you are guilty of retail theft, we may be able to explore whether Pennsylvania accelerated rehabilitation disposition (ARD) program can provide a viable option. ARD is essentially a form of probation that allows you to complete your punishment while avoiding formal prosecution and conviction for retail theft. ARD is not available to every single defendant, so contact our offices today for more detailed information about whether ARD may be an option in your case.
FAQ: Can I have a conviction for retail theft expunged from my criminal record? +
Yes, expungement is available for retail theft convictions under Pennsylvania’s new expungement law. The requirements for obtaining the expungement can vary, but if you were convicted as an adult, you can generally have the retail theft conviction expunged after ten years have passed from the date of conviction, or the date when you completed your jail sentence, probation or parole (whichever is later) with no additional arrests or prosecutions. The retail theft must have also been charged as a misdemeanor, or offense with a maximum penalty of two years in jail. Contact our lawyers for more information on how and when an expungement for retail theft may be available under Pennsylvania’s new law.
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