West Chester PA Retail Theft Lawyer
Chester County Shoplifting AttorneyRetail Theft Charges: If you have questions about Retail Theft Charges, learn more, get legal advice and the legal representation you need from experienced Pennsylvania Criminal Lawyers defending Retail Theft Charges, criminal arrests and criminal punishment throughout Pennsylvania including but not limited to the greater Philadelphia area, West Chester PA, Chester County, Delaware County, Lancaster County, Montgomery County, Berks County and Bucks County. Contact our legal team today by email or call us at (610) 692-8700.
The Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Lawyers of Ciccarelli Law Offices are experienced in fighting for you, representing you and answering your questions regarding Retail Theft Charges. We are based in the greater Philadelphia area at 304 North High Street, West Chester PA 19380 and have satellite offices for your convenience. Contact us by email or at (610) 692-8700 when you need a PA Retail Theft Charges Lawyer.
§ 3929. Retail theft.
(a) Offense defined.–A person is guilty of a retail theft
(1) takes possession of, carries away, transfers or
causes to be carried away or transferred, any merchandise
displayed, held, stored or offered for sale by any store or
other retail mercantile establishment with the intention of
depriving the merchant of the possession, use or benefit of
such merchandise without paying the full retail value
(2) alters, transfers or removes any label, price tag
marking, indicia of value or any other markings which aid in
determining value affixed to any merchandise displayed, held,
stored or offered for sale in a store or other retail
mercantile establishment and attempts to purchase such
merchandise personally or in consort with another at less
than the full retail value with the intention of depriving
the merchant of the full retail value of such merchandise;
(3) transfers any merchandise displayed, held, stored or
offered for sale by any store or other retail mercantile
establishment from the container in or on which the same
shall be displayed to any other container with intent to
deprive the merchant of all or some part of the full retail
value thereof; or
(4) under-rings with the intention of depriving the
merchant of the full retail value of the merchandise.
(5) destroys, removes, renders inoperative or
deactivates any inventory control tag, security strip or any
other mechanism designed or employed to prevent an offense
under this section with the intention of depriving the
merchant of the possession, use or benefit of such
merchandise without paying the full retail value thereof.
(1) Retail theft constitutes a:
(i) Summary offense when the offense is a first
offense and the value of the merchandise is less than
(ii) Misdemeanor of the second degree when the
offense is a second offense and the value of the
merchandise is less than $150.
(iii) Misdemeanor of the first degree when the
offense is a first or second offense and the value of the
merchandise is $150 or more.
(iv) Felony of the third degree when the offense is
a third or subsequent offense, regardless of the value of
(v) Felony of the third degree when the amount
involved exceeds $2,000 or if the merchandise involved is
a firearm or a motor vehicle.
(1.1) Any person who is convicted under subsection (a)
of retail theft of motor fuel may, in addition to any other
penalty imposed, be sentenced as follows:
(i) For a first offense, to pay a fine of not less
than $100 nor more than $250.
(ii) For a second offense, to pay a fine of not
less than $250 nor more than $500.
(iii) For a third or subsequent offense, to pay a
fine of not less than $500, or the court may order the
operating privilege of the person suspended for 30 days.
A copy of the order shall be transmitted to the
Department of Transportation.
(2) Amounts involved in retail thefts committed pursuant
to one scheme or course of conduct, whether from the same
store or retail mercantile establishment or several stores or
retail mercantile establishments, may be aggregated in
determining the grade of the offense.
(c) Presumptions.–Any person intentionally concealing
unpurchased property of any store or other mercantile
establishment, either on the premises or outside the premises of
such store, shall be prima facie presumed to have so concealed
such property with the intention of depriving the merchant of
the possession, use or benefit of such merchandise without
paying the full retail value thereof within the meaning of
subsection (a), and the finding of such unpurchased property
concealed, upon the person or among the belongings of such
person, shall be prima facie evidence of intentional
concealment, and, if such person conceals, or causes to be
concealed, such unpurchased property, upon the person or among
the belongings of another, such fact shall also be prima facie
evidence of intentional concealment on the part of the person so
concealing such property.
(c.1) Evidence.–To the extent that there is other competent
evidence to substantiate the offense, the conviction shall not
be avoided because the prosecution cannot produce the stolen
(d) Detention.–A peace officer, merchant or merchant’s
employee or an agent under contract with a merchant, who has
probable cause to believe that retail theft has occurred or is
occurring on or about a store or other retail mercantile
establishment and who has probable cause to believe that a
specific person has committed or is committing the retail theft
may detain the suspect in a reasonable manner for a reasonable
time on or off the premises for all or any of the following
purposes: to require the suspect to identify himself, to verify
such identification, to determine whether such suspect has in
his possession unpurchased merchandise taken from the mercantile
establishment and, if so, to recover such merchandise, to inform
a peace officer, or to institute criminal proceedings against
the suspect. Such detention shall not impose civil or criminal
liability upon the peace officer, merchant, employee, or agent
(e) Reduction prohibited.–No magisterial district judge
shall have the power to reduce any other charge of theft to a
charge of retail theft as defined in this section.
“Conceal.” To conceal merchandise so that, although there
may be some notice of its presence, it is not visible through
“Full retail value.” The merchant’s stated or advertised
price of the merchandise.
“Merchandise.” Any goods, chattels, foodstuffs or wares of
any type and description, regardless of the value thereof.
“Merchant.” An owner or operator of any retail mercantile
establishment or any agent, employee, lessee, consignee,
officer, director, franchisee or independent contractor of such
owner or operator.
“Premises of a retail mercantile establishment.” Includes
but is not limited to, the retail mercantile establishment, any
common use areas in shopping centers and all parking areas set
aside by a merchant or on behalf of a merchant for the parking
of vehicles for the convenience of the patrons of such retail
“Store or other retail mercantile establishment.” A place
where merchandise is displayed, held, stored or sold or offered
to the public for sale.
“Under-ring.” To cause the cash register or other sales
recording device to reflect less than the full retail value of
(g) Fingerprinting.–Prior to the commencement of trial or
entry of plea of a defendant 16 years of age or older accused of
the summary offense of retail theft, the issuing authority shall
order the defendant to submit within five days of such order for
fingerprinting by the municipal police of the jurisdiction in
which the offense allegedly was committed or the State Police.
Fingerprints so obtained shall be forwarded immediately to the
Pennsylvania State Police for determination as to whether or not
the defendant previously has been convicted of the offense of
retail theft. The results of such determination shall be
forwarded to the Police Department obtaining the fingerprints if
such department is the prosecutor, or to the issuing authority
if the prosecutor is other than a police officer. The issuing
authority shall not proceed with the trial or plea in summary
cases until in receipt of the determination made by the State
Police. The magisterial district judge shall use the information
obtained solely for the purpose of grading the offense pursuant
to subsection (b).