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Pennsylvania Shoplifting Lawyers

What Happens When You Are Charged with Retail Theft in PA?

Have you or a loved one been arrested or charged with shoplifting?

Whether you have been charged with a first offense of retail theft or multiple shoplifting offenses, the penalties in Pennsylvania can be severe. If you are convicted, you will have a criminal record, publicly available for anyone to see – employers, universities and colleges and even landlords.

Just because you were charged with shoplifting, doesn’t mean you are guilty. Maybe you accidentally left a store without purchasing the item or forgot you still had the item in hand. There are many instances and misunderstandings in which an innocent person could be arrested for shoplifting.

Depending on the value of the item allegedly stolen, you could face felony charges for shoplifting, which could mean up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

Even if the value of the item allegedly stolen item is less than $150, you still face up to three months in jail and a $300 fine.

This is why it is very important to understand your rights and how to defend them. There are many possibilities in winning against retail theft charges and having an experienced theft attorney work on your behalf only strengthens the possibility of winning your case.

Even if the evidence is working against you, an aggressive criminal lawyer can try to have your charges and sentencing reduced. It is important that you speak with an experienced Pennsylvania Theft Lawyer immediately if you were arrested for retail theft or shoplifting in PA.

Attorney Justin J. Ketchel provides free consultations and can explain your rights and next steps for protecting your rights.

OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: GETTING YOUR CRIMINAL CHARGES DISMISSED.

CALL 412-456-1221 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

WHAT IS RETAIL THEFT?

 In the Pennsylvania court system, shoplifting is also known as retail theft. Retail theft could mean committing any of the following acts:

  • Walking out of a store with an item marked for sale without paying for it;
  • Transferring or causing merchandise to be transferred without paying the full value;
  • Using merchandise without paying the full value;
  • Altering or changing price tags to pay a lesser value for merchandise;
  • Removing or destroying control tags or anti-theft tags from merchandise with the intention of depriving the merchant of the value of the item;
  • As an employee, ringing up items at a lesser value for “friends”, depriving the merchant of the full value;
  • Transferring merchandise into a different container with the intention of not paying the full value of the item.

Read more about Retail Theft in The Pennsylvania Criminal Code, Title 18 Chaper 39.

OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: GETTING YOUR THEFT CHARGES DISMISSED.

CALL 412-456-1221 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

PENNSYLVANIA SHOPLIFTING LAWS & PENALTIES

If you are charged with shoplifting and are aged 16 or older you will be fingerprinted. The storeowner or employee has the right to stop you and recover the store items you did not purchase, so long as the have probable cause that you shoplifted.

A person over the age of 18 can face very severe penalties for even a first time shoplifting conviction of less than $150 in retail value. A second or third offense could mean jail time and a misdemeanor or felony on your permanent record.

PENALTIES IN PA FOR A SHOPLIFTING / RETAIL THEFT CONVICTION:

  • Under $150, first offense: A summary offense, up to 90 days in jail and a $300 fine.
  • Under $150, second offense: Second-degree misdemeanor, up to two years in jail and a $5,000 fine.
  • $150-$2,000 value: First-degree misdemeanor, up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. (first or second offense)
  • Third or subsequent offense: Third-degree felony, up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
  • Over $2,000 value / motor vehicle theft / firearm: Third-degree felony, up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

Even if this is your first offense for shoplifting, it is very important to get in touch with a criminal lawyer for a free legal consultation.

IT’S NOT OVER UNTIL IT’S OVER: DON’T GIVE UP WITHOUT CONSIDERING ALL POSSIBILITIES.

Do not plead guilty without getting a free consultation from Justin Ketchel Law first. Justin Ketchel can help you understand your rights and the penalties you face so you can better defend your liberty.

Justin Ketchel Law serves Western Pennsylvania including Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Fayette County, Somerset County, Westmoreland County, Cambria County and Mercer and Clarion Counties.

OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: GETTING YOUR THEFT CHARGES DISMISSED.

CALL 412-456-1221 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

PENNSYLVANIA SHOPLIFTING PENALTIES FOR JUVENILES 

If you are a minor (under 18) and were charged with shoplifting or if you have a child who was accused of shoplifting, the laws in Pennsylvania still apply, however, the penalties are very different.

When a minor is charged with shoplifting, the case goes into the Pennsylvania Juvenile Court System and any number of outcomes could follow. The juvenile system has a different set of courts, judges and prosecutors. The intension for the penalties for juvenile shoplifting or retail theft is to teach a lesson and correct behavior.

Any of the following can occur if you or your child is under the age of 18 and is convicted of shoplifting:

  • Parental Release – The court may give only a warning and release the juvenile offender to their parents.
  • Counseling – The juvenile may be ordered to attend counseling sessions.
  • Pay Restitution – The court may order the juvenile to pay back the value of the stolen property.
  • Put on Probation – The court may order the juvenile to serve out a probationary period of following certain rules, such as attending school and reporting to a probation officer. The court could apply stricter rules if the juvenile breaks the rules.
  • Enter into a Diversion Program – The court may order the juvenile offender to participate in educational programs, perform community service or other requirements.
  • Placement or Confinement – If the juvenile is a repeat retail theft offender, has been in trouble for other crimes or the value of the item stolen was very high, the juvenile may be ordered to serve time at a juvenile detention facility, such as the Shuman Center in Pittsburgh.

If you or your loved one has been charged with shoplifting as a minor, it is important to speak with an experienced and aggressive theft lawyer as soon as possible. Call Justin Ketchel today for a Free Consultation.

OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: GETTING YOUR THEFT CHARGES DISMISSED.

CALL 412-456-1221 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

How Can a Criminal Theft Lawyer Help?

Having a tough criminal attorney on your side to argue in your defense could help in being able to have your sentence reduced or the charges dropped altogether.

Just because you have been arrested for theft does not mean that you will also be convicted.

If an experienced theft lawyer is fighting for you, there is a much greater possibility for minimizing your sentence or having your charges dropped.

A theft attorney is going to be able to negotiate with prosecutors and argue your case before the judge during your hearing. An aggressive and meticulous attorney will gather all evidence and facts about your case, presenting your history to make the best possible defense.

We will attempt to discredit evidence not in your favor and work closely with you to find the best course of action in defending your rights and your freedom.

IT’S NOT OVER UNTIL IT’S OVER: DON’T GIVE UP WITHOUT CONSIDERING ALL POSSIBILITIES.

OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: GETTING YOUR THEFT CHARGES DISMISSED.

CALL 412-456-1221 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

FREE LEGAL CONSULTATION

At Justin Ketchel Law, we offer free legal consultations to anyone charged with a crime. Call us today to find out how we can help defend your rights.

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