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Meet Our Attorneys
Lee Ciccarelli

Lee Ciccarelli

Lee Ciccarelli is the founder and managing partner of Ciccarelli Law Offices with over two decades experience as a practicing attorney.

Joshua Tebay

Joshua Tebay

Joshua Tebay is an experienced attorney and former prosecutor licensed to practice in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Michael E. Houghton

Michael E. Houghton

Michael E. Houghton brings both passion and enthusiasm to criminal defense through his extensive knowledge and experience.

Timothy Kraeer

Timothy Kraeer

Timothy Kraeer is a highly experienced traffic attorney who handles related criminal and civil matters across the state.

Ann DelCollo

Ann DelCollo

Since 1992, Ann has been advocating for her clients both in and out of tough courtrooms of Philadelphia, which has cultivated her craft.

David Strenfel

David Strenfel

David Strenfel is a highly experienced attorney who focuses on trial advocacy, constitutional law, and criminal defense.

Jonathon Luff

Jonathon Luff

Jonathon Luff has successfully represented countless clients and gain freedom for many wrongfully accused individuals.

Office Locations
Our Locations
Primary Location
A
304 North High Street West Chester, PA 19380
Secondary Locations

These locations are available by appointment only

B
1515 Market St., #200 Philadelphia, PA 19102
C
135 East State St. Kennett Square, PA 19380
D
600 West Germantown Pike Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462
E
1489 Baltimore Pike Ste 221 Springfield, PA 19064
G
101 Lindenwood Dr, Ste 225 Malvern, PA 19355
H
150 N. Radnor Chester Rd Ste. F200, Radnor, PA 19087
I
313 West Liberty St., Ste 341 Lancaster, PA 17603
Reasonable Fees

Our firm provides excellent services at reasonable fees and accepts a variety of payment methods, including most major credit card providers.

We accept payment from most major credit card providers, including Via, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover
Superb Avvo Rating

Lee Ciccarelli has received a 10.0 (Superb) rating on Avvo, the highest possible rating for attorneys on the site. This rating is given based on client reviews, peer endorsements, and professional experience and credentials.

Avvo Top Attorney Criminal Defense

Retail Theft / Shoplifting

The crime of retail theft (more commonly known as shoplifting) is a common offense nationwide, but merchants and establishments have increased security efforts to catch and prevent visitors from walking out of stores without paying for merchandise. Alleged offenders can face criminal charges if they commit retail theft in Pennsylvania, and people who have been previously convicted of this crime can face felony charges.

Not every case of a customer leaving an establishment without paying for an item involves criminal intent though. Many people are guilty of nothing more than simply forgetting that they had items in their possession and were frequently more than willing to pay for those items.

Lawyer for Retail Theft Arrests in West Chester, PA

Were you arrested in southeastern Pennsylvania for allegedly shoplifting? You will want to contact Ciccarelli Law Offices as soon as possible for help achieving the most favorable outcome to your case.

Our West Chester criminal defense attorneys work as a team to get theft charges reduced or dismissed for clients in communities throughout Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Lancaster County. Call (610) 719-3200 right now to have our lawyers provide a full evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation.


Overview of Shoplifting Crimes in Chester County


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Retail Theft Charges in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute § 3929 defines retail theft as a crime that an alleged offender commits if he or she:

  • 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 thereof;
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • under-rings with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value of the merchandise; or
  • 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.

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Shoplifting Penalties in Chester County

The possible sentence an alleged offender receives if convicted of retail theft will depend on that person’s prior criminal record and the value of the merchandise that was allegedly stolen. Possible consequences of shoplifting convictions may include:

  • First Offense — When the merchandise involved has a value of less than $150, retail theft is a summary offense punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $300. If the merchandise involved has a value of $150 or more, the crime is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to five years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Second Offense — When the merchandise involved has a value of less than $150, shoplifting is a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. If the merchandise involved has a value of $150 or more, the offense is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to five years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Third or Subsequent Offense — Regardless of the value of the merchandise involves, a third or subsequent retail theft conviction is a third-degree felony punishable by seven years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.

When the merchandise involved is a firearm or a motor vehicle, or has a value that exceeds $1,000, the crime is always graded as a third-degree felony punishable by seven years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Furthermore, convictions for retail theft of motor fuel are subject to additional fines of $250 for a first offense, $500 for a second offense, and $500 as well as a 30-day suspension of driving privileges for third or subsequent offenses.

It is also important to remember that Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute § 8308 establishes that alleged offenders can also be liable for civil damages if convicted of shoplifting. Damages in such cases may include the value of the merchandise if it is not returned in its original condition as well as reasonable attorney fees and reasonable court costs.


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Pennsylvania Resources for Retail Theft Offenses

Pennsylvania Shoplifting Laws | National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) — NASP is a private non-profit tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization that considers itself “the nationwide leader in shoplifting prevention efforts.” On this section of the NASP website, you can review all of Pennsylvania’s laws relating to shoplifting. You can also learn more about NASP’s education programs for adults and juveniles as well as research from various recidivism studies.

Commonwealth v. Rodriquez, No. 929 EWDA 2009 — Lenora Rodriquez entered a Wal-Mart store and selected a portable stereo that she then placed in her shopping cart and took to the customer service desk. Rodriquez told an employee that she wanted to return the stereo and was given $137.66 in cash, but a Wal-Mart Loss Prevention Officer determined that Rodriquez used a receipt for a different stereo that was purchased at a different store to create a false impression during the return. The trial court sentenced Rodriquez to 11 and a half to 23 months incarceration for the retail theft conviction, but the Superior Court of Pennsylvania vacated that sentence. The court concluded:

Given the foregoing, the evidence was sufficient to prove that Appellant intentionally created a false impression to obtain cash from Wal-Mart and therefore committed theft by deception. The evidence was insufficient, however, to demonstrate that Appellant intended to deprive Wal-Mart of the use or benefit of the stereo which she temporarily possessed to facilitate the theft by deception. We therefore vacate Appellant’s judgment of sentence with regard to the retail theft conviction, and remand for resentencing.


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Ciccarelli Law Offices | West Chester Shoplifting Attorney

If you were arrested for alleged retail theft in southeastern Pennsylvania, it will be in your best interest to not say anything to authorities until you have legal representation. Ciccarelli Law Offices can fight to possibly get the criminal charged reduced or dismissed.

Our West Chester criminal defense attorneys have office locations in Radnor, West Chester, Springfield, Kennett Square, King of Prussia, Lancaster, Malvern, Philadelphia, and Plymouth Square. They can review your case and answer all of your legal questions when you call (610) 719-3200 or fill out an online contact form to take advantage of a free consultation.


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