Shoplifting Charges and Penalties in Pittsburgh
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Shoplifting, otherwise known as retail theft in Pennsylvania, is a theft crime in that it involves a specific target, a retail establishment, in order to be charged. Retail theft occurs when a person takes something from a store or other business without paying the full retail value of it. In order to be convicted, the prosecution must also demonstrate that you had the intent on depriving the shop of the financial compensation for their good or service.
When you are facing charges of shoplifting, a reputable Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyer is vital to defending your rights and your name. At the Law Office of Melvin L. Vatz, we have represented numerous clients from around the Pittsburgh area in criminal and civil trials. Attorney Melvin L. Vatz has more than 38 years of experience in law practice, including experience as a former District Attorney, giving him valuable insight as to the strategies of prosecutors.
Call the Law Office of Melvin L. Vatz and schedule a free consultation by dialing 412-391-3030
Retail Theft Penalties
If you are found guilty of retail theft, the penalties you face will depend on a number of different factors, including the type of merchandise stolen and its value. Your previous criminal history will also play a role in your sentencing, and repeat offenders will have their charges augmented.
Retail theft penalties in Pennsylvania can include:
- Jail time
- Permanent criminal record
- Possible restitution to the victim
Additionally, Pennsylvania law allows victims of retail theft to sue adult shoplifters or guardians of juvenile perpetrators to recover damages from the incident, including the value of the merchandise taken if it is not returned in the same condition, damages from the incident, legal fees and more.
A skilled attorney can assist you with analyzing all of the evidence in your case and can aid you in opting to take a plea bargain if it is the most beneficial option. In Pennsylvania, those who are first-time offenders may be eligible to avoid prosecution through a program known as Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition. Discuss these options with your attorney to see if you qualify.
Get assistance with your shoplifting charges today! Contact the Law Office of Melvin L. Vatz now!