When you turn on the nightly news, you are likely to see mugshots of people who were arrested that day. In most cases, there will be someone accused of shoplifting, but how often do you think about the stories of the people who are accused?
What if they are actually innocent?
At the SMA Law Group, we want to help if you or a loved one are facing these charges. We will patiently listen to your story and work to form a defense strategy on your behalf. These charges are serious and can lead to real penalties. When you need an Indiana County shoplifting attorney, call us today.
What These Charges Mean
In Pennsylvania, shoplifting and retail theft fall under retail theft law and charges are applied when a person “carries away or transfers merchandise from a store with the intent of depriving the location of their property.”
As with regular theft charges, the level of offense depends on the value of what was allegedly taken and can range from a summary offense all the way to a felony.
- Summary Offense
- For a first offense and theft of value alleged stolen merchandise valued at less than $150.
- Penalty is a sentence of up to 90 days in jail with fines of up to $300.
- Second Degree Misdemeanor
- For theft of merchandise valued at less than $150 with one prior offense.
- Penalty is a sentence of up to 2 years in jail with fines of up to $5,000.
- First Degree Misdemeanor
- For theft of merchandise valued at $150 or more with no more than one prior offense.
- Penalty is a sentence of up to 5 years in jail with fines of up to $10,000.
- Third Degree Felony
- For theft with a third or higher offense (regardless of the monetary value of the merchandise) or a theft of merchandise valued at more than $1,000 or theft of a firearm.
- Penalty is a sentence of up to 7 years in jail with fines of up to $15,000.
You can see that these charges have serious consequences. Not only will a person face jail time and fines if they are found guilty, but they will be burdened with a permanent mark on their criminal record and a damaged reputation.
If You Are In Trouble
If you or someone you love has been accused of shoplifting in Indiana County, let your next phone call be to an experienced attorney. At the SMA Law Group, we are asking you not to speak with law enforcement or prosecutors before speaking to us.