Some people do not take shoplifting seriously. This is especially true when the item taken is small or cheap. They merely see it as a short trip to the shop’s administrative office or perhaps a half-hearted warning to never do the act again. While the former is possible as long as the shop decides not to press charges against the offender, it is still considered a misdemeanor and must be dealt with in accordance with the law.
If you ever get involved in shoplifting and are arrested, your most feasible and efficient option is to contact the best criminal defense attorney in Philadelphia. We know how to defend our clients and will ensure that you don’t go through the process alone.
Does shoplifting result in a permanent or long-term criminal record? This article will serve as your guide on shoplifting and its legal consequences.
What Is Shoplifting?
Shoplifting is defined as the unlawful removal of items or merchandise from an establishment without payment. There is intent on the part of the perpetrator to deprive the owners of the stolen items. Otherwise known as retail theft, there are other means by which this act is committed:
- Concealing or hiding such items within your person while you are still within the store’s premises
- Removing security tags to avoid triggering security devices
- Removing products from the packaging
- Altering price tags
These acts are considered shoplifting and will be dealt with in accordance with the law of the state.
Will A Shoplifting Conviction Reflect In My Records?
If the court convicts you of shoplifting and its corresponding penalties, it will go on your criminal record. However, your acquittal will not taint your records, public or private. This is where you’ll need the best Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer. You don’t have to suffer a permanent criminal record for shoplifting.
Having a past shoplifting criminal record may affect your educational, career, renting, and loaning opportunities. While all may be forgiven after serving your sentence, criminal records can impede a person’s success.
What Are My Remedies For The Criminal Record?
In Philadelphia, you can expunge a shoplifting charge. You can apply for expungement of your criminal records when:
- You were charged but were not convicted of any offense, including summary, felony, or misdemeanor.
- You were convicted but have been granted liberty from prosecution or arrest for at least five years.
- You went through a program, thereby becoming eligible for probation without conviction.
You have to meet these requirements before you can have your records expunged. Otherwise, you’ll need the assistance of experienced lawyers to help you prevent a conviction.
How To Avoid Permanent Criminal Charges
Brennan Law Offices has experienced and seasoned criminal defense attorneys with great track records and feedback from clients. They are well-versed in criminal law and focused on assisting clients with every legal issue they face. Our firm fights tirelessly for our clients.Read More
While it may seem minor compared to some crimes, shoplifting is a serious offense that can have serious consequences. Depending on the specific circumstances, shoplifting penalties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey can be very high. It is important to consult a criminal attorney in Philadelphia to protect you. Receiving a shoplifting offense has great implications and lasting consequences. In this post, we will explain the potential repercussions of a shoplifting offense.
What is Shoplifting?
Before you can learn about the penalties for shoplifting, it is important to understand what constitutes shoplifting. According to the laws in New Jersey, shoplifting is “any action taken with the intent of not paying for – or paying less than the full price of – an item.” The concept is quite similar in Pennsylvania, where shoplifting is under the retail theft law and it states,” when a person carries away, or transfers, any merchandise by a store or other retail entity with the intent of depriving the merchant of the use and benefit of the property, he or she has committed retail theft.” In both states, the following actions would be considered shoplifting:
- Removing merchandise from a store without paying.
- Concealing the items in your bag, jacket, pockets, etc.
- Altering, removing, or transferring price tags.
Retail Value Impacts the Penalty
While all forms of shoplifting are punishable, the severity of the repercussion will depend on the value of the item(s) stolen, and the number of offenses. The tiers of consequences for shoplifting in New Jersey include:
- First-time offenders: Those who commit a first-time offense and took an item under $200 in value can face 10 days in jail.
- 4th degree: Items valued between $200-$500. Punishable with up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- 3rd degree: If you take items with a value between $500-$75,000, you can face three to five years in jail and a fine of up to $15,000.
- 2nd degree: Shoplifting items with a value over 75,000 is a 2nd-degree offense, and can include punishment of five to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000.
Pennsylvania has a similar way of ranking offenses and assigning punishments, with slightly different values. You can view Pennsylvania’s shoplifting penalties HERE.
Additionally, minors who face shoplifting charges can face stays in detention that vary based on the severity of the crime.
The Importance of a Strong Defense Against Shoplifting Charges
Shoplifting offenses come with steep penalties, especially for repeated offenses or high-value items. A shoplifting charge can lead to high fees, jail time, and a mark on your record. No matter how large or small the charge is, it is best to consult with one of best criminal defense attorneys in Philadelphia aggressively fight the charges with a strong defense. For the strongest defense against criminal shoplifting charges, turn to the experienced team at Brennan Law Offices in Philadelphia. Contact us today at 215-568-1400 or through our online portal to discuss your case with a knowledgeable defense attorney.Read More
A simple accusation of a theft by deception criminal charge can be life altering. Even before a trial or verdict, the stigma of being a thief conveys a lack of trust that will affect your career, relationships, and reputation for years to come. If you or someone you know has been accused of theft by deception, it is crucial to contact an experienced criminal theft attorney right away.
Theft offenses are often charged unpredictably, so understanding the theft by deception law and penalties in PA is crucial and will help you recognize if a lawyer has the skills and knowledge it takes to get you the best possible outcome.
What is Theft by Deception?
Theft by deception is a type of theft in which someone intentionally obtains or withholds someone else’s property by deceiving them. A conviction in Pennsylvania will be based on if the accused does one of the following:
- Creates or reinforces a false impression as to the “law, value, intention or state of mind”
- Prevents a person from acquiring information that might affect his or her judgement about a transaction
- Fails to correct a false impression “which the deceiver previously created or reinforced”
However, not all deception is considered a crime. If the false statements do not have financial significance, or are exaggerated to the point that a reasonable person would not accept them as the truth, then the offense would not be considered theft by deception.
Penalties of Theft By Deception in PA
The resulting penalties of a theft by deception conviction in PA will vary depending on the value of the property or money stolen, which in most cases will be the following:
- Less than $50 — 3rd degree misdemeanor with a jail sentence up to 1 year and fine up to $2,500
- $50 – $200 — 2nd degree misdemeanor with a jail sentence up to 2 years and a fine up to $5,000
- $200 – $2,000 — 1st degree misdemeanor with a jail sentence up to 5 years and a fine up to $10,000
- More than $2,000 — 3rd degree felony with a jail sentence up to 7 years and a fine up to $15,000
Defenses to Theft by Deception
While the burden is on the prosecutor to prove every element of the offense, a skillful and aggressive defense is essential to getting your charges dropped completely. Some of the possible defenses for theft by deception charges may include:
- The property wasn’t taken at all. The alleged victim misplaced or lost it.
- The property was taken with the clear intent of returning it.
- The alleged victim gave the property to the accused willingly and freely.
- There was no deception involved. The alleged victim misunderstood the conversation or transaction.
- The defendant was under duress and did not intend to deceive.
To make sure you have the strongest defense for your case, you need a criminal attorney with extensive knowledge and experience in theft by deception offenses. Our theft lawyers know what it takes to protect your reputation and get you the best possible outcome. Contact us today for a free consultation.Read More
The holidays are the most joyful time of year; however, all the good cheer, great food and gift giving may be a distraction from the risks the season can also bring. Break-ins, porch pirates and pickpockets are more popular than ever this time of year as the hustle and bustle of the holidays can leave us vulnerable to thieves. While theft, robbery and burglary are often used interchangeably, they’re actually very different offenses when defined by Pennsylvania Law. We’ll explain the differences between theft, robbery and burglary in Pennsylvania and the possible penalties they involve.
As one of the most commonly committed crimes in the country, theft is known by a number of different titles; larceny, petty theft, grand theft and more depending on various states. This crime is defined as taking someone else’s property without consent and with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of its use or possession. Theft can be committed in a few different ways, including the use of deception, extortion or wrongfully carrying something away.
Theft can pertain to the taking of both tangible property, such as money, physical goods or other objects you can transport or move, or intangible property, including services, utilities or valuable information. Since theft does not involve interaction with the victim, it is almost always classified as a “property crime.”
While often referred to as “theft plus,” robbery is always a felony, or “violent crime,” due to an additional element that involves force, assault or the physical removal of property from another person. If at any time during the theft, the victim is threatened, in fear of harm, forced to remove the property, injured in any way, the crime is considered a robbery.
Each of these additional factors can impact the severity of the punishment. For example, if the robbery involves serious bodily harm to the victim, it’s considered a first degree felony which can be punishable by more than 10 years in prison. If there are no threats or harm as a result of taking the property, the crime is a third degree robbery with a maximum sentence of seven years prison time.
Other factors can also influence the conviction of the crime. When drugs or controlled substances are the goal of the robbery, it’s automatically a first degree offense, while the use of a gun during the robbery requires a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in jail.
The crime of burglary is closely related to that of robbery without the act or threat of harm to the victim. Instead, burglary specifically involves entering a building or piece of property with the intent to commit a crime inside. You can be convicted of burglary even without taking anything, since the crime focuses on the violation of someone else’s home or property based on the intent to commit another crime. And because of how this stature is specifically defined, a burglary crime may also include trespassing with the intent to commit murder, rape, theft, robbery or other offenses as well.
Burglary can be classified in the following ways:
– Object of the crime is to obtain drugs
– Building is a home or someone is present inside at the time of the crime
– The building entered is not a home and no one is present at the time of the crime
– A break in occurs without the intent to commit a crime inside (considered criminal trespass)
– A building is entered without break-in and without the intent to commit a crime (considered third degree criminal trespass)
Reversely, there are three primary defenses to burglary, which include if the building was abandoned, open to the public or the person was “licensed or privileged” to enter.
If you’re seeking legal advice about theft, robbery and burglary or want more information about the classifications and punishments of each crime in Pennsylvania, contact us to meet with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys today.Read More