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Luzerne County Shoplifting Lawyer

Luzerne County Shoplifting LawyerLuzerne County Shoplifting Lawyer

Shoplifting Charges Defense Attorneys in Kingston, PA, Assist Clients Charged With Retail Theft in Luzerne County, Lackawanna County, Columbia County, and Throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania

Shoplifting in Pennsylvania is a serious offense that can leave you facing criminal charges of theft. If you’re wondering whether you really need a Luzerne County shoplifting lawyer, consider the possible penalties of a conviction. You might be facing consequences like thousands of dollars in fines and years in prison.

Muckler Law, LLC, has the experience needed to defend you against a shoplifting charge and build a strong defense. To get started with a free, confidential consultation, contact us today.

Shoplifting Charges in Luzerne County, PA

Pennsylvania law recognizes shoplifting as “retail theft,” a crime which it establishes under Statute 18 Pa. C.S. Section 3929. This theft offense can apply to any kind of retailer or merchant. The action may constitute theft regardless of whether the alleged victim is the owner or operator of the retail establishment, an employee, a franchisee, an independent contractor, or another party.

If charged with shoplifting in Pennsylvania, the consequences will depend on what you are accused of stealing and whether you have prior offenses.

Where Can Our Luzerne County Shoplifting Lawyer Assist You?

Muckler Law, LLC’s shoplifting charges defense attorneys in Kingston, PA, represent those accused of retail theft all over Luzerne County. The areas we serve include:

Whether you’re worrying about the impact of first-time shoplifting charges on your future or facing harsh penalties for a repeat offense, a shoplifting lawyer at Muckler Law, LLC, can help you understand the charges against you and prepare for what’s ahead.

What Is Shoplifting Under Pennsylvania Law?

Concealing items to sneak them off the premises without paying for them is only one form of shoplifting offense recognized in Pennsylvania. Under state law, shoplifting or retail theft in PA encompasses actions like the following:

  • Taking possession of or carrying away merchandise in any retail establishment with the intent to deprive the seller of it without paying the full value of the merchandise
  • Under-ringing items during checkout with the intent of depriving the seller of the full retail value of the items
  • Transferring items from one container to another for the purpose of depriving the seller of the full value of the items
  • Removing or altering price tags on items with the intent of depriving the seller of the full value of the items
  • Deactivating, destroying, or removing any security tags or mechanisms intended to prevent shoplifting with the intent of depriving the seller of the value of the item

Pennsylvania shoplifting law allows for the “presumption” of an intent to shoplift if you are accused of “intentionally concealing” merchandise. This means that you can even be charged with the crime of retail theft even if you never attempted to leave the property with such merchandise.

Considering all the potential actions that could be presumed to indicate an intention to commit retail theft, it’s wise to retain an experienced Pennsylvania theft lawyer to provide skilled legal representation from the get-go to assist you with these charges.

Do You Go to Jail for Shoplifting in Pennsylvania?

It’s unlikely that you will go to jail for a first offense of shoplifting merchandise with a relatively low value (under $150) in Pennsylvania. Under PA law, this violation constitutes a summary offense. Jail time for such an offense is possible under state law, but a fine is a more likely penalty.

Violations that involve a higher value of stolen merchandise, multiple offenses, or both often lead to prison terms.

The penalty for even a second-degree misdemeanor can amount to two years in prison, plus up to $5,000 in fines. If convicted of a more serious first-degree misdemeanor for shoplifting in Luzerne County, you might be sentenced to up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. A shoplifting charge that constitutes a third-degree felony could have consequences of up to seven years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines.

Any alleged retail theft of motor fuel may expose you to additional consequences. Under 18 Pa. C.S. Section 3929(b)(1.1), these crimes may result in additional fines of $100 to $250 for a first offense, $250 to $500 for a second offense, and at least $500 for a third or subsequent offense. Alternatively, for a third or subsequent offense, offenders may have their driving privileges suspended for 30 days.

How to Beat a Shoplifting Charge

There are a number of possible defenses or paths to more favorable resolutions in shoplifting cases. Your attorney will investigate the incident that gave rise to the charges against you, looking specifically for any of the following:

  • Evidence in your favor
  • Mitigating circumstances
  • Improper procedures used in obtaining evidence against you

In the hands of a seasoned Luzerne County shoplifting lawyer, any such facts can be used to shape your legal strategy and build arguments in your defense.

In some cases, your attorney can explore options like Luzerne County’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program. Participation in this program may allow for lighter penalties like probation and restitution for the theft while avoiding the consequences of a criminal conviction.

If ARD isn’t an option for you, your attorney can help you explore the possibility of a plea bargain, provide evidence that counters the prosecution’s case against you, or point out to a jury the weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case.

Do I Need a Luzerne County Shoplifting Lawyer for Retail Theft Charges in PA?

No matter which path forward best fits your situation, the key to improving the chances of a favorable outcome is hiring skilled legal representation.

With a knowledgeable Luzerne County shoplifting lawyer on your side, it may be possible to escape the most serious penalties for retail theft or avoid a shoplifting conviction altogether.

Even in instances in which the prosecution has a stronger case against you, having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side allows you to put up the most robust defense possible.

Contact a Luzerne County Shoplifting Lawyer at Muckler Law, LLC, Today for a Free Consultation

Shoplifting may not be a violent crime, but the offense is still taken seriously in Pennsylvania. Hiring skilled shoplifting charges defense attorneys in Kingston, PA, can help you identify a path forward to seek a more positive outcome.

For help from a retail theft defense attorney in Kingston, PA, contact Muckler Law, LLC, online or call 570-908-4069 today.

Shoplifting Charges Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

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