In Delaware County, shoplifting, or “retail theft” as it is known in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a common type of theft crime.
The Commonwealth’s laws specify punishments from an offense based on both the monetary value of the items stolen, as well as based on the number of prior convictions the defendant has on their record.
If you are charged with shoplifting/retail theft in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, you need an experienced attorney who is experienced in defending shoplifters in Pennsylvania courts.
We can help you explain your story in court. You are not the first person to face shoplifting charges; you may have simply walked out of a store, forgetting to pay for an item. You may have impulsively taken an item, failing to appreciate the repercussions at time. You situation is common, but the details relating to your shoplifting charge are unique.
Pennsylvania Shoplifting Laws Explained
Title 18, chapter 39 of The Pennsylvania Criminal Code provides full detail on the Commonwealth’s retail theft laws.
Here is an overview of the Retail Theft (Shoplifting) Laws in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:
Retail Theft is Committed if You:
Personally transfer, or help to transfer, an item of merchandise located in a retail store, with the intention of taking, using, or benefiting from said item without payment
Remove, replace, or alter a price label/tag on an item of merchandise, with the intent of either taking the item, or paying less than the retail price for the item
Moving an item from a display container into another container, with the intent of taking the item without paying for the item’s retail value
Intentionally ringing up an item for less than the piece of merchandise’s retail value
Manipulating an item’s security tag in order to take a piece of merchandise without paying the full retail value of the item
Concealing an item on your person and leaving a store. Pennsylvania law presumes this has been done in order to shoplift the item
Owners and/or employees of retail stores have the legal right to detain you if you are caught within the premises stealing or attempting to steal merchandise
Tiers of Shoplifting Offenses in Delaware County, Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has several tiers of shoplifting (retail theft) offenses, with varying levels of punishment:
If an item taken is worth less than $150, and it is your first offense, you will be charged with a summary offense
If it is your second offense, and the item is worth under $150, you will be charged with a second degree misdemeanor
If the item has a full retail value of more than $150, and it is your first or second retail theft offense, you will be charged with a first degree misdemeanor
No matter the retail value of the item stolen, a third shoplifting/retail theft offense will be charged as a third degree felony
A shoplifting/retail theft crime in which more than $2000 in merchandise is stolen or if the item stolen is a vehicle or firearm, you will be automatically charged with a third degree felony
What You Need To Do If Charged With A Shoplifting Crime in Delaware County
When confronted by law enforcement, do not argue/get angry with the arresting officer
Wait until an attorney is present before talking with prosecutors/law enforcement
How A Shoplifting Attorney Can Help You If Accused of Retail Theft in Delaware County
When accused of shoplifting/retail theft in Delaware County, it is important to have qualified legal representation to fight for you at your first hearing.
An experienced shoplifting attorney can fight for you from end to end, do as much as possible to discredit evidence, advising you on how to best defend yourself against the charges.