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DAVID CLARK
Criminal Defense Attorney

Bucks County Shoplifting Lawyer

Shoplifting in Bucks County is often treated severely because of the makeup of the county. Retail theft is treated particularly stringently because these are the type of thefts that involve the unlawful taking of an item by one person from another person when not authorized to do so.

If you have been charged with retail theft or any other category of the crime, it is imperative to consult with a Bucks County theft lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced shoplifting attorney in Bucks County can mount a strong defense to help lessen or dismiss any penalties associated with the charge.

Retail Theft

Retail theft focuses the crime upon the commercial and/or store element of a commercial enterprise. If an individual commits a theft in a retail establishment, the charge of retail theft comes into play.

To protect small businesses in Bucks County, the courts treat retail thefts, especially multiple retail thefts, regardless of the value, in a very tough manner. Individuals are dissuaded from committing retail thefts and harming the local economy by being threatened with long probationary periods, many restitution payments, and incarceration in the more severe cases. To avoid such serious consequences, an individual should not hesitate before contacting a Bucks County shoplifting attorney.

Subsequent Offenders

In Pennsylvania and inclusive of Bucks County, a second and/or third offense for retail theft raises the ante when a person faces particular charges. Once retail thefts reach three levels or the third offense level, they are no longer graded as summaries or misdemeanors.

A third retail theft in Bucks County is treated as a felony of the third degree. Once an individual is convicted of a third retail theft, they face a potential jail sentence of three and a half to 15 years in a state correctional facility and a $15,000 fine. Such repercussions can be best argued using a Bucks County shoplifting attorney.

Even a person alleged to have taken under $5 worth of an item still faces that felony of the third degree upon a third conviction. Therefore, retail theft is not a crime to take lightly. It is not a crime to plead guilty to and just mail the funds that are requested by the courts. Every time a person acts in this fashion, they raise the ante that should they ever have a problem in the future, whether defensive or not, their consequences can lead to as high up as a felony of the third degree.

Burden of Proof

Prosecutors have the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt to prove that an individual committed a retail theft crime. Like any other crime, they are required to prove certain elements to convict an individual of a crime. For retail theft, they must prove that in a retail establishment some sort of theft crime took place.

For example, an individual enters a retail establishment and without permission or paying, takes an item from that location past areas where a person would pay compensation for such item and is stopped outside or past the register area of a store. Thus, it can be proven that the person had the intent to take such item unlawfully, committing the crime of retail theft. To combat the prosecution, an individual charged should not wait before hiring a shoplifting attorney in Bucks County.

Benefit of Legal Representation

Shoplifting is underlined by the offense of theft. The offense of theft is a crime called crimen falsi in Pennsylvania and inclusive of Bucks County. A crime of crimen falsi is a crime against one’s character. It is the type of crime that can affect the person’s character and/or future. Therefore, a conviction for retail theft carries the same type of consequences as a conviction for theft or theft-related offenses.

A retail theft conviction can prevent a person from having any sort of employment in the future, student loans, other aid, and even membership in certain non-profit or profit boards. Theft is not a crime to take lightly. The consequences of a theft conviction limit an individual as much as any other crime.

Therefore, a retail theft being a sub-category of theft or larceny carries all of the same consequences as a more severe theft conviction. Such penalties can be fought using a seasoned shoplifting attorney in Bucks County.