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RETAIL THEFT / SHOPLIFTING

RETAIL THEFT / SHOPLIFTING

A shoplifting charge may not be the biggest of transgressions, but it has the potential to create serious problems not only in the short term with regard to jail time and fines but also in the long-term when it comes to your permanent record. Even a misdemeanor charge will be added to your criminal record, which is visible to anyone who makes the effort to look.

Considering that shoplifting is a crime that violates the trust of another, seeing this on a criminal record during a routine background check could disqualify you from countless employment opportunities, not to mention that social stigma that comes with being convicted of theft.

This makes your defense strategy all the more important during this stressful experience. Hiring a qualified criminal defense attorney who understands the intricacies of Pennsylvania law along with the process that is involved in theft cases, will give you a much better chance at fighting the charges and getting them reduces, or even dismissed.

West Chester Retail Theft Attorney

If you or a loved one has been charged with a shoplifting offense (also similarly termed as retail theft, petit theft, petty theft, or grand theft) it is of vital importance that you take the steps necessary to keep this from developing into a much larger problem.

Michael J. Skinner of the Skinner Law Firm has years of experience representing individuals dealing with shoplifting charges in Southeastern Pennsylvania and has the legal understanding to put you in a favorable position to fight the charges. If you have a pending retail theft charge in the counties of Chester, Montgomery, Delaware, Lancaster, call (610) 436-1410 to schedule a free consultation today.


Retail Theft under Pennsylvania Law

In Pa. Cons. Stat. §3929, a person is guilty of retail theft if he or she:

  • Takes possession of, carries away or transfers any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale by any store or retail establishment with the intent to deprive the merchant of possession, use or benefit of such merchandise without paying full retail value
  • Alters, transfers or removes any label, price tag or indicator of value, and attempts to purchase such merchandise at less than full retail price
  • Transfers merchandise displayed, stored, or offered for sale to another container with the intent of paying less than full retail value
  • Under-rings with the intention of depriving merchant of full retail value.
  • Destroys, removes, renders inoperative or deactivates any inventory control tag or mechanism designed to prevent theft, with the intent to deprive the merchant of possession.

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Penalties for Shoplifting in Pennsylvania

Retail theft or shoplifting can cross almost the entire spectrum of potential punishments. It can be considered all the way from a summary offense to the opposite end where you may receive a third-degree felony.

According to Pa. Cons. Stat. §3929, the following charges will be handed down depending on the situation:

  • Summary – First offense and the value of the merchandise is less than $150; comes with a presumptive sentence of up to 90 days in prison and/or fines of up to $300.
  • Misdemeanor of the second degree – Second offense and the value of the merchandise is less than $150; comes with a presumptive sentence of up to 2 years in prison and/or fines of up to $5,000.
  • Misdemeanor of the first degree – First or second offense and the value of the merchandise is $150 or more; comes with a possible sentence of up to 5 years and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Felony of the third degree – Third or subsequent offense, regardless of value OR if the amount involved exceeds $2000; comes with a possible sentence of up to 10 years in prison and/or fines of up to $15,000.

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Chester County Shoplifting Arrest Lawyer

With the wide array of possible penalties one could have to deal with when fighting a shoplifting charge, it would be in their best interest to acquire the representation of a qualified criminal defense attorney who is well-versed in the laws and legal process within the state of Pennsylvania.

As an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer who has spent several years representing those dealing with shoplifting charges in Southeastern Pennsylvania, Michael J. Skinner of the Skinner Law Firm can effectively and professionally handle you case, increasing your chances for a not guilty verdict or acquittal.

Call (610) 436-1410 to schedule a free consultation to discuss you case if you were arrested or charged with retail theft in or around the cities of West Chester, Coatesville, Downingtown, Kennet Square, Chester, Yeadon, Darby, Media, Lancaster, New Holland, Quarryville, Norristown, Lansdale or Narberth, among others.

Michael Skinner
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