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Shoplifting is considered one of the most common crimes. If you have been accused of shoplifting, it’s important to take the charges seriously. More prosecuting attorneys are seeking higher penalties as a way to reduce the crimes. If you have taken something out of a store by placing it into a bag or a purse and not paid for it, shoplifting charges can be considerable.
Shoplifting happens in a number of stores. Many people assume that what they take off of a shelf or a rack goes unnoticed. However, more and more stores have security measures to prevent shoplifting. This can include surveillance cameras, security markers on the items, as well as security guards in place by the entrances and exits.
Items are usually concealed in pockets, under clothes, in a baby stroller, or placed into a bag. Then, the items are removed out of the store without paying for it.
While there is always the case of “unintentional” shoplifting where someone forgets to pay, it is almost always intentional.
Being charged with shoplifting can result in a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the value of the items that were taken from the store.
The penalties that you can face for shoplifting charges are considerable. The charges can be as high as a third-degree felony if the value you have shoplifted is $1,000 or more or it is theft of a firearm. Further, if it is your third offense of shoplifting, it can become a felony regardless of the monetary value. Third-degree felonies in Pennsylvania can result in fines of up to $15,000 as well as a jail sentence of up to seven years.
These penalties are no laughing matter. When you are facing shoplifting charges in Philadelphia, you need to have legal counsel to assist you.
Even if you’re not facing a third-degree felony charge, a summary offense could result in up to 90 days in jail. This is usually the lowest penalty and will be what you’re charged with if it’s a first offense and the merchandise value is less than $150.
Seeking the help of Philadelphia shoplifting attorney lawyers can be the best option for you. From the moment you’re charged, it’s critical to have a lawyer at your side so that you don’t say or do anything that could incriminate you further.
Every case is different. It’s important to look at what was stolen, the monetary value, and whether this was your first shoplifting offense or not. Additionally, it’s important to look at how you were caught and whether the merchandise was returned to the retailer or not. With all of these factoring in, you need to rely on the expertise of a shoplifting attorney to navigate the laws on your behalf.
Without the help of a lawyer who is familiar with this kind of crime, you could end up being sentenced to the fullest extent of the law. The goal is to learn from your mistakes so that you don’t do them again. However, you may be innocent in its entirety, which means that you shouldn’t have to pay the time if you didn’t do the crime. If you are guilty, it may be possible to reduce the charges, and, thus, reduce the sentencing.
The only way to know what kind of trouble you are truly in is by contacting Philadelphia shoplifting attorneys today. We are here to work with you on your shoplifting case. Contact us today so that we can review your case.