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Retail Theft

Comprehensive Defense And Legal Advice For Retail Theft Charges

According to Jack L. Hayes International, more than 1 million shoplifters were apprehended for retail theft in 2009. This number continues to grow as our economy maintains its steady decline and unemployment levels stay high. As as the volume of retail theft offenses grow, so too do the attempts by law enforcement officers throughout Pennsylvania to crack down on shoplifting and other retail theft acts.

At Joyce & Bittner, we have seen these crack-downs result in prosecution of a broad range of individuals for retail theft charges. From nurses and other professionals to housewives, there are many, many people who need to know their rights when facing shoplifting charges. In Pennsylvania, retail theft falls under the Consolidated Theft sections of the Crimes Code. As a theft offense, retail theft is considered a crime of dishonesty; therefore, one shoplifting theft conviction on your record can harm your ability to obtain or maintain employment. If you have been charged with retail theft, reach out to one of our Pittsburgh retail theft defense attorneys today.


For a free retail theft consultation, call 412-281-9919 or 1-800-299-5530 or contact our Pittsburgh law firm.

The Grade of the Retail Theft Offense You Face Depends on Several Factors

In Pennsylvania, retail theft can be charged as a summary offense, a misdemeanor or a felony. The seriousness of the retail theft charge you face will depend upon the amount allegedly taken or attempted to be shoplifted and whether you have any prior retail theft convictions on your record. A third theft offense of any type will result in you facing felony charges.

A Summary Offense Will Result in Fingerprinting and a Criminal Record

Therefore, everyone charged with retail theft in Pennsylvania must submit to police booking and fingerprinting. Because of this, even a summary offense for retail theft will result in a police record. Other summary offenses such as public intoxication or disorderly conduct do not require fingerprinting and therefore do not result in a police fingerprint “rap sheet.” Because many individuals do not know their rights or the consequences of a retail theft charge, they may just pay the retail theft citation to get it over with — and, as a result, end up with a criminal record.

Our experienced criminal defense lawyers have more than 50 years of combined legal experience protecting the rights of individuals facing retail theft and other criminal charges. With attorneys that have past prosecutorial work experience and government service, we know how to best prepare your defense to the retail theft case against you — whether it is to attack the governments case in defense of the shoplifting charge or working for a mutually acceptable plea to the charge. A record for retail theft can disqualify you from certain types of employment.

Do not simply pay the fine for a summary offense, as this equates to you admitting guilt. Instead, talk to a lawyer immediately. Also, if you already have a summary offense for retail theft on your record, reach out to our law firm. We may be able to pursue an expungement of that offense from your record.

Contact Our Pennsylvania Felony Shoplifting Defense Attorneys


“For additional information about how we can assist you, or to schedule your free initial consultation to discuss your retail theft charges, contact our Pittsburgh criminal defense firm. Call 412-281-9919″

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