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Theft, Retail Theft and Fraud

Theft of merchandise valued at less than $150 with no prior record of related charges is a Summary offense under §3929(b)(1)(i) with a penalty of up to 90 days of jail time; fines up to $300

Theft of merchandise valued at less than $150 with one prior offense is a Second degree misdemeanor under §3929(b)(1)(ii) with a penalty of up to two years of jail time; fines up to $5,000

Theft of merchandise valued at $150 or more with no more than one prior offense is a First degree misdemeanor under §3929(b)(1)(iii) with a penalty of up to five years of jail time; fines up to $10,000

Theft of merchandise with two prior convictions, regardless of the retail value of the merchandise is a Third degree felony under §3929(b)(1)(iv) with a penalty of up to seven years of jail time; fines up to $15,000

Theft of merchandise valued at more than $2,000, or theft of a firearm is a Third degree felony under §3929(b)(1)(v) with a penalty of up to seven years of jail time; fines up to $15,000

CIVIL PENALTY:

Merchants can sue adult shoplifters and the custodial parents of minor shoplifters in civil court to recover damages. Money damages can equal the value of merchandise if not returned in original condition, actual damages arising from the shoplifting incident, reasonable court costs and attorney fees, and/or a civil penalty equal to the value of the merchandise plus $150

New Law Changes How ARD Admission Will Affect Second Offenses Retail Theft Convictions.

ARD is a pretrial program that, if accepted, allows a defendant to complete community service and is successfully completed have the case dismissed and removed from his/her record.

There is a major change in the new law deals with those who have previously been admitted to the ARD program for retail theft, and who are later charged with retail theft again. Under previous law, an ARD admission, which is not a “conviction” for any purpose under the law, was not considered a “prior offense” under the retail theft statute. As such, a person who successfully completed ARD for a first offense would face only a first offense summary violation if charged again. The new law expressly changes this, adding a definition of “prior offense” that includes:

…a conviction, acceptance of accelerated rehabilitative disposition or other form of preliminary disposition, occurring before the sentencing on the present violation…

This new change means that the same individual would now face charges for a misdemeanor of the second degree carrrying stiffer sentencing which could include jail time.

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