According to the Global Retail Barometer, a survey of retailers worldwide, an estimated 5 billion dollars worth of merchandise was shoplifted from U.S. stores in 2010 in the four weeks leading up to Christmas alone. The reasons behind the spike varies. Some people are desperate for Christmas gifts, the stores see an increase in available goods and opportunities,intoxication and acting on impulse leads to bad decisions for others, and the stress of the holiday season can lead to rash decisions for others.
Retailers and law enforcement alike take the issue of shoplifting very seriously. The National Retail Federation says that the large retail stores are spending about $11.5 billion a year to fend off losses.
Shoplifting is serious business both in its widespread occurrence and the sharply rising consequences attached to each offense. Though the grading on a first offense may vary depending on the value of the merchandise stolen, Pennsylvania's retail theft statute 18 Pa. C.S.A § 3929(b)(4) makes shoplifting a third degree felony on the third or subsequent offense, regardless of the value of the merchandise. This means that penalties can range from a small fine and probation on a first offense up to felony charges with
a statutory maximum ranging up to 7 years in prison.
A conviction for retail theft can stay on your record and disqualify you from professional jobs and is a common bar to many types of employment. It can have an impact on your child's current or future college attendance as well as their ability to sit for some professional licenses down the road.
However, Attorney Frank Walker can help you mitigate many of these potential consequences. Attorney Walker has experience getting retail theft cases dismissed, entered into alternative dispositional programs, or having the case
expunged if you have already been convicted.
A retail theft conviction is nothing to take lightly and that's why you need an experienced attorney you can trust. If you or someone you love are facing criminal charges for retail theft, contact Attorney Frank Walker immediately at 412-532-6805. You can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for an experienced guiding hand who can help guide you through this potential minefield.