Fight Your Shoplifting / Retail Theft Charge in
Get an Aggressive Criminal Lawyer to
Protect Your Rights in Court!
Retail theft, also known as shoplifting, can be a
serious criminal charge under Pennsylvania criminal laws. The
penalties for shoplifting vary according to the value of the items
involved, but any criminal charge must be taken seriously if you
hope to avoid the harshest consequences now and in the future.
or contact us for a legal consultation,
and we'll let you know what you are facing, and exactly what we can
do to help. There's no obligation. (888) 412-3298
Why Hire a Lawyer for a Simple Shoplifting Charge?
I get asked this all the time, and even if you are only facing a
Summary Offense for retail theft (shoplifting) and the penalty isn't
that severe, this is still your one and only time to keep your
record clean and avoid problems that could seriously affect you
in the future.
Any conviction for retail theft can remain on your criminal
record forever, and could affect future employment
opportunities, scholarships, apartment rentals, or any situation
where someone might do a simple background check on you.
Not to mention that if it ever happens again, you'll be facing a
2nd offense retail theft charge that is an automatic
misdemeanor, with a real risk of jail time. If that
happens, you'll regret not taking every opportunity to have a lawyer
work for a dismissal and keep your record clean.
How to Beat a PA Shoplifting Charge
Pennsylvania Retail Theft Defense
There are often excellent legal defenses against retail theft /
shoplifting charges. I will question how the facts of the case apply
to the statute, whether or not they can prove that you deliberated
attempted to steal anything, and look into the behavior of any store security
There may also be opportunities to reduce the charges, or pay
restitution in exchange for the charges being dropped. The important thing is that, even if you know you
made a mistake, that doesn't mean you should be punished
severely. You should still have an attorney looking out for your
best interests who can argue for leniency and make sure a minor
mistake doesn't have to follow you around for the rest of your life.
Another good option for some people charged with a first offense
shoplifting / retail theft case is what is known as and
Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition, or ARD. If
the prosecution is willing to offer you and accelerated
rehabilitative disposition plea, you will pay a fine, be place on
probation for 1-2 years, and likely have to perform some community
If you do not commit any additional criminal offenses, after the
probation period, the charge is removed from your record, so you
will still have the opportunity to have a clean record. You
will be able to honestly admit to having no criminal conviction.
ARDs are issued by the county, so it may not be available in all
places, and in all circumstances. Please call me to discuss this
option. Of course, depending on the facts surrounding your case, it
may make sense to challenge the case in court and fight the charges
upfront, before agreeing to a deal for an ARD.
As with any case, an experienced defense lawyer can
only determine the best defense strategies after a thorough
examination and analysis of the police report, and any other facts
and evidence in the case.
Penalties for Retail Theft/Shoplifting in PA
Retail Theft Offense
Items over $2000 in value, or
theft is of a car or gun, or
is a 3rd offense
up to 7 years in prison
Items valued over $150 but under $2000
First Degree Misdemeanor
up to 5 years in prison
under $150 in value and 2nd Offense
Second Degree Misdemeanor
up to 3 years in prison
under $150 in value and 1st Offense
up to 90 days in jail
In addition, to the above maximum penalties, if you are found
guilty of retail theft charges, you will face:
- For a third offense, fines of at least $500 and a 30 day
driver's license suspension.
- For a second offense, fines of $250-500.
- For a first offense, fines of $10-250.
Is a 2nd Offense Shoplifting/Theft Charge Much More Serious?
Yes, definitely. If you are facing a second offense retail theft
or shoplifting offense, you are at real risk of serious, life
changing penalties, and a permanent criminal record. You need
serious legal help to avoid the most serious consequences.
Many people who call me on a shoplifting charge of under $150,
which no prior offenses don't think it is worth the money to hire a
lawyer, since the fine is usually minimal for a summary offense. I
don't always agree with that decision, since any shoplifting charge
on your record can be damaging to you in the long term. But I
understand why someone may feel they can take that risk to save a
few dollars now.
But if you have a previous conviction and sentence on a
shoplifting, you need to get excellent legal help to try to avoid a
serious criminal penalty.
I didn't even take anything. Can I still be charged with Retail
Yes, you can be arrested for retail theft in Pennsylvania for changing labels or price
tags, disabling anti theft or security devices, or any behavior
allegedly intending to deprive a retailer of the full value of
Don't run the risk of trying to deal with these charges on your
own! Get some advice from an attorney who can protect your rights.
Please call me anytime or contact me via
this form for a free legal consultation on how to
defend a retail theft / shoplifting charge, or any other criminal charge.
We work in courts across Pennsylvania. Call now at (888) 412-3298
- The attorneys of Pennsylvania-Criminal-Defense.com
Our firm represents clients facing retail
theft and other criminal charges
across Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia, Harrisburg,
Lebanon, Carlisle and Lancaster, and in Bucks, Montgomery, Northampton, and Lehigh Counties. Call today, no