West Chester Retail Theft Lawyer
Understand the consequences of pleading guilty or paying the fine to the crime of retail theft before it impacts your future.
Whether you live in West Chester PA, in Chester County or throughout suburban Philadelphia, a retail theft is often the secret people think they can keep to themselves. Whether it is a minor in middle school or high school; a college student; or an adult, all too often there is a temptation to “quietly” pay the citation for retail theft rather than fight the charge. That is almost always a mistake that will come back to haunt you. Before you make the mistake of trying to handle it yourself, seek the consultation, legal advice and representation of an experienced and aggressive West Chester PA Retail Theft Lawyer. Contact us by EMAIL or call at (610) 692-8700.
Retail Theft Charges Are More Common Than You Think
Retail Theft charges seem to be on the rise in suburban Philadelphia. For one thing, stores continue to aggressively monitor and prosecute suspected thefts through the use of video and hired security. In the case of security, it is not clear whether they are financially encourage to find suspected shoplifters but the danger of being accused is no less.
Along these same lines there seems to be an increase in the number of filings of individuals being accused of “intending to shoplift” or “conspiring to shoplift” Examples are of people who are prosecuted for shoplifting before they have attempted to leave the store and/or have the ability to pay for the “stolen” item(s). Another example is where store security will charge a group of people who walked into the store together as acting in concert (or conspiracy) to steal an item though only one person of the group actually took an item. Do not be the victim of an overly aggressive or unfairly motivated business or a private security cop looking to meet a quote. Speak to an aggressive, experienced Chester County Retail Theft Lawyer based in West Chester PA. Contact us by email or call (610) 692-8700.
Understand the Impact of Retail Theft in Chester County
Whether it was a misunderstanding or a mistake, whether you are facing prosecution for a summary citation; or a criminal misdemeanor or felony for an allegation of shoplifting at a grocery store or supermarket like Wegman’s in Downingtown; a big box like Walmart in Parkesburg or at a shopping center like the Exton Mall or King of Prussia Court & Plaza; understanding your rights and your possible penalties does matter.
In Pennsylvania, retail theft is codified under section 3929(a) of the criminal code and states that it is “the taking of any merchandise without paying the full value required.”..and this can include “actually removing merchandise from the store, changing or removing labels and price tags or tampering with security tags.”
How can this impact you: Any one cited or charged with retail theft can be fingerprinted. If it is determined this is your first offense and the value of the stolen merchandise is less than $150.00, then it is a summary offense. However, if you receive a second offense in your lifetime, it automatically becomes a criminal misdemeanor. The gravity of the offense rises to a misdemeanor of the first decree if the value of the item is between $150.00 and $2,000.00. A third offense in your life time boosts the offense to a Felony! Each of these offense carry potential jail time, a criminal record and monetary damages to the store over and above the value of the items. Email now or call (610) 692-8700.
We are often judged by what people consider to be our character or credibility or honesty. Too often, people are apt to judge us for any past mistake or transgression. Acts of dishonesty are most damages to our character and our ability to obtain and maintain employment and thrive in a community. Any criminal record at all, and especially, a criminal record for crimes of dishonesty (crimen falsi) such as retail theft, shoplifting, theft and stealing can be the difference between a successful livelihood and a life of embarrassment in struggle.
One means to erase the errors of our youth is to seek an expungement or pardon of a prior offense. A first offense of Retail theft can remain on your record for your entire life even though it may have been a misjudgment of youth or young adulthood from stealing a pack of bubblegum or a candybar. That summary offense will remain on your record unless you take action.
Retail Theft Lawyers fighting for you In Chester County & Beyond
Under Pennsylvania law, you have the right to petition for the expungement of a retail theft summary offense after a waiting period of five (5) years. Our lawyers are experienced in the practice and procedure of getting a summary retail theft offense expunged in Pennsylvania.
In the event that you have a criminal record for a misdemeanor or felony retail theft, shoplifting or theft offense, expungement is not an option unless you were eligible and successfully completed an ARD or accelerated rehabilitative disposition program. In the event of a retail theft resulting in ARD, you are also eligible for expungement and should consider contacting our office for consultation on clearing your record.
The pardon process may be the only option available in Pennsylvania when you face a criminal record for a misdemeanor or felony retail theft, shoplifting or theft charges. In that case, please look to consult with one of our Pardon lawyers on the options available to you.
Learn more about getting your criminal record expunged, from experienced Pennsylvania Criminal Record Expungement Lawyers that are knowledgeable about Pennsylvania Expungement laws and can advise whether you are eligible for an expungement or whether the pardon process makes sense for you. Contact an experienced Retail Theft Crimes Attorney at Ciccarelli Law Offices, at (610) 692-8700 or toll free at (877) 529-2422.