Retail theft charges are graded based on the value of the items taken. If the items were worth more than $150, the charge is graded as a misdemeanor of the first degree. The maximum penalty for a M1 is 5 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
If this is your first offense ARD may be a possibility as well. ARD is a diversionary program for first-time offenders. It's like being on probation for a short period of time. Once you complete the program requirements, the charge is dismissed and your record can be expunged. Each county's ARD requirements are different and I'm not familiar with Bucks County's policies, so I can't give you any details.
If ARD isn't an option and this is your first criminal offense in any state or country as an adult or juvenile you are likely looking at probation.
Many attorneys in your area participate on Avvo. Some offer free consultations. It certainly would be worth your while to take one or more of them up on that offer.
PA Misdemeanor 1 is punishable up to five years in your state. I added a helpful link for you to review the state's offence levels and a web page to a local criminal counsel below:
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You may be eligible for a first time offenders program known as ARD. It is suggested that you immediately retain an experienced criminal defense attorney. They attorney will attempt to have your case resolved without a conviction. We provide a free consult if you wish to djscuss the matter further.
This being your 1st offense you would likely be eligible for ARD, a diversionary program, which could upon completion be expunged from your record - this is important do to the effect something like this can have on your future. Feel free to contact my office for a free consultation about this matter.
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