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Pennsylvania Shoplifting Lawyer
Shoplifting is a specific type of theft that involves taking goods that are for sale in a store or from a merchant. The charges you face for shoplifting are going to vary depending upon the value of the goods that you took, or attempted to take. A Pennsylvania shoplifting lawyer can help you understand the charges you face and can assist you in deciding what you should do to respond to those charges.
Shoplifting Lawyers in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Code Section 3929 defines the offense of retail theft. Under the law, you can be found guilty of shoplifting if you:
- Transfer, take possession of, carry away, or cause to be carried away any merchandise that is stored, displayed, or offered for sale with the intent to deprive the merchant of the possession, use, or benefit of the merchandise without paying full retail price.
- Alter, remove, or transfer any labels, price tags, or markings indicating the value of items in a store and trying to purchase those items at lower than the full price in order to deprive the merchant of full retail value.
- Move merchandise from one container to another for purposes of depriving the retailer of the full value of the item.
- Under-ring up items in order to deprive the merchant of the full retail value of the items.
- Remove, destroy, or break any security tags or control strips in order to take an item and deprive the merchant of its full retail value.
- The value of the merchandise taken without providing full payment to the merchant is going to determine the nature of any shoplifting charges.
If any of these apply to your situation you may want to contact a Pennsylvania shoplifting lawyer as soon as possible.
If you have no prior convictions and the total value of shoplifted items is less than $150, you will be charged with a summary offense. The maximum potential penalty is 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $300.
If you have a prior conviction and take items valued at less than $150, you will be charged with a second degree misdemeanor. A second degree misdemeanor can result in up to two years incarceration and a fine up to $5,000.
If you have two prior shoplifting convictions, you will be charged with a third degree felony for any subsequent shoplifting offenses regardless of the value of the items. A third degree felony can result in a $15,000 fine and up to seven years incarceration.
If you shoplift a firearm, a motor vehicle, or items valued at $2,000 or more, you will be charged with a third degree felony.
In addition to the standard penalties, Pennsylvania Code Section 3929 also indicates that a person convicted of retail theft can also be sentenced to additional fines and, in the case of a third or subsequent offense, a conviction can result in the suspension of a driver’s license for 30 days. You should contact a Pennsylvania shoplifting lawyer for assistance when facing potential penalties for any alleged shoplifting charge.
How a Pennsylvania Shoplifting Lawyer Can Help You
A Pennsylvania shoplifting lawyer can provide you with legal representation if you are charged with taking, or trying to take, items from a merchant. Your shoplifting attorney in Pennsylvania could either help you negotiate a plea deal or could help you in court if you plead not guilty. You can try to introduce doubt about your guilt, since a prosecutor has to prove you shoplifted for you to be convicted. You can also raise defenses such as a lack of intent to deprive the merchant of an item’s value. To learn more about these or other legal options you may have, contact a Pennsylvania shoplifting lawyer today.