Berks County Retail Theft Attorney

Retail theft, commonly called shoplifting, can have an immediate and long-term effect on you or your child's future. Shoplifting is a very common offense in Pennsylvania, and individuals of all ages are commonly accused of this act. In many cases, it is a charge based on mistakes and misunderstandings.

No matter what happened that led to your charges, an experienced Berks County Retail Theft attorney can defend your rights and work to get a favorable outcome on your behalf.

Retail Theft in Berks County, PA

Retail theft, at least the simple version, is defined by 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3929(a)(1). It is considered the taking possession of, carrying away, or transferring of any merchandise displayed, held, stored, or offered for sale by any store or other mercantile establishment with the intent to deprive the merchant of such merchandise without paying the full retail value, or otherwise causing such offense to happen.

This is not the only way that retail theft can occur. It can also occur under circumstances described in 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3929:

  • The alteration, transfer, or removal of any label, price tag, or other indication of value of store merchandise with the intent to deprive the merchant of all or part of the full retail value of that merchandise
  • The transfer of any store merchandise from its original container into another container with the intent to deprive the merchant of all or part of the full retail value of that merchandise
  • To intentionally under-ring store merchandise so that it is purchased at an amount less than the full retail value
  • The destruction, removal, or other deactivation of any inventory control tag or other security mechanism with the intent to deprive the merchant of all or part of the full retail value of that merchandise

Any of these variations can lead to a shoplifting charge in Pennsylvania and can lead to serious penalties.

Penalties for Retail Theft in Pennsylvania

Penalties for retail theft depend on the individual circumstances of your case, especially depending on the value of the merchandise taken.

A first offense where the merchandise is less than $150 is a summary offense with a possible penalty of up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $300. A second offense for the same value is now a second-degree misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of 2 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

First-degree misdemeanor retail theft occurs for a first or second offense when the value is between $150 and $2,000 in value. A person faces up to 5 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.

The offense becomes a felony for a third or more offense or if the merchandise value exceeds $2,000. This is a felony of the third degree and carries up to 10 years in prison and $15,000 in fines.

Consult an Experienced Berks County Retail Theft and Shoplifting Attorney

If you have been arrested and charged with retail theft in Pennsylvania, an experienced Berks County Retail Theft attorney like Joseph D. Lento will fight for your constitutional rights. Call (888) 535-3686 or contact us online today to schedule a consultation of your case.

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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