New Pennsylvania Law Crackdowns on Theft

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Mar 07, 2024 | 0 Comments

If you've watched the national or local news, you know that crime rates are rising nationwide, particularly in the larger Philadelphia area. What's happening in Philly isn't just a regional issue but part of a larger trend of increasing crime nationwide. From luxury stores being targeted in smash-and-grab incidents to fast food joints getting held up and convenience stores like 711 facing petty theft daily, robberies have wreaked havoc on retail. A new law in Pennsylvania aims to crack down on crime by increasing the theft thresholds.  

If you are facing charges of theft, burglary, robbery, or shoplifting, contact the LLF Law Firm Criminal Defense Team by calling 888-535-3686 or by using our online contact form.  

New Law in Pennsylvania Aims to Curb Retail Theft 

In response to this crisis, the State Senate has approved a new law that will significantly revise the existing legal thresholds for theft in Pennsylvania. Under the new legislation, the retail value thresholds correlating with second- and third-degree felonies for retail theft have been halved. For instance, theft of merchandise valued between $2,500 and $9,999 is now classified as a third-degree felony, a substantial reduction from the previous $5,000 to $19,999 threshold. Similarly, the range for a second-degree felony is adjusted to $10,000 to $49,999, down from the earlier requirement of over $20,000. The law also introduces a first-degree felony penalty for thefts involving merchandise worth $50,000 or more.  

The law also establishes The Office of Deputy Attorney General for Organized Retail Crime Theft,  consisting of prosecution attorneys dedicated to addressing retail theft across Pennsylvania's districts.  

Types of Theft Crimes  

"Theft" is a widely recognized legal term that refers to the unauthorized taking of someone else's property without their consent. Theft occurs when one person takes another person's property without permission with the intent to permanently deprive them of that property. This general type of theft can be charged at varying degree levels depending on the value of the goods stolen. Regarding retail thefts, shoplifting is a form of theft by unlawful taking that deprives a merchant of their goods. In Pennsylvania, the crime also extends to altering price tags and even interfering with the functionality of a cash register or credit card reader. 

Theft by deception, on the other hand, occurs when the victim party is aware that the goods are in the control of someone else but later learns that the individual obtained possession through deception. Due to the fraudulent component, Theft By Deception can also be accompanied by Identity Theft. In this scenario, a party would deceive the victim party to gain access to a car, hotel, apartment, etc. In this scenario, the crime of forgery could also be involved.  

Pennsylvania Shoplifting and Theft Attorneys  

If you have been charged with a theft-related crime and feel the odds are stacked against you, there is help. Our experienced LLF Law Firm Criminal Defense Team has years of experience combating theft charges nationwide. For more information on what legal defenses may be available, contact us by calling 888-535-3686 or by using our online contact form.  

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania as well as in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact Us Today!

The LLF Law Firm Team has decades of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the LLF Law Firm today! Our Criminal Defense Team will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.