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Our firm has over 25 years of combined legal practice. Our Philadelphia criminal attorneys have been recognized by the top lawyer ranking services.
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We take on fewer clients than other firms. Each client works 1:1 on with one of our senior attorneys.
When you decide to shoplift, you’re committing a serious crime that will subject you to civil liabilities. Additionally, you may receive punishment concurrent with your charge in the criminal courts. It does not matter how much the item costs that you stole, shoplifting is not something to joke about. Law enforcement officers and prosecutors take this type of criminal activity seriously and will pursue violators aggressively. If you find yourself convicted of shoplifting, you need a Philadelphia shoplifting attorney you can trust. They will help lessen any charges brought against you.
The Severity Of Shoplifting In Pennsylvania
Under Pennsylvania law, shoplifting is considered a retail theft crime. What constitutes this crime is taking merchandise from any retail store or establishment with no intention of paying the owner for it. The essential element prosecutors have to prove with these types of charges is that the criminal intended to deprive the store’s owner of the full retail value of the merchandise taken.
The most common type of shoplifting is taking merchandise from a store without paying for it. However, there are other types of shoplifting acts which are prohibited by law as well. For example, removing the price tag from a product and replacing it with a tag from another item that is lower-priced. This is considered shoplifting because you are not paying full retail value for the item purchased.
Shoplifting/Retail Theft Penalties Under Pennsylvania Laws
The penalties shoplifters receive will be based significantly on the value of the stolen merchandise and their criminal background. People with no criminal records are often given penalties that are less harsh than someone who has a long record of criminal activity in their background. A penalty fine of $300 and up to 90 days in jail will be charged to a person with no criminal record who took merchandise that was worth less than $150.
Other Penalties and Charges Include:
•Shoplifting retail merchandise valued at $150 or less with a single prior conviction can come with a penalty of up to two years in prison and up to $5,000 worth of fines. This would be considered a second-degree misdemeanor charge.
•Shoplifting retail merchandise valued at $150 or more with a single prior conviction will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. This charge can come with up to five years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
•For anyone with two or more prior convictions, shoplifting retail merchandise will be punishable as a third-degree felony. This charge is punishable with fines up to $15,000 and 7 years in state prison.
Philadelphia Shoplifting Attorneys Are Ready For Your Case
Pennsylvania offers advantages to the prosecutors of shoplifting cases. The laws constitute jurors and judges can presume that an individual who intentionally concealed retail merchandise before they pay for it is doing so with the intent to steal it. This can be true even if the accused was caught before leaving the store.
If you have been charged with a shoplifting crime, find a defense team at a law firm ready to challenge Pennsylvania law and the prosecutors looking to charge you high fines and send you to jail. Most lawyers will offer clients a free initial consultation to go over their case details and the options available to them.
It is important not to take your time finding a lawyer to hire. Prosecutors and the police move very quickly with these types of retail theft cases. Allow a professional legal team to map out a strategy that will give you the best defense possible. The right lawyer will be relentless, hard-working and devoted to getting you a satisfactory outcome on the case.