What Are The Potential Repercussions of a Shoplifting Offense
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.