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Is a third offense retail theft charge a felony and does it carry jail time?

Lewistown, PA |

Hello. My friend was caught shoplifting about 2 months ago at a truckstop. She recieved a summary for that. About a month ago she got caught stealing again at Walmart and she just keep stealing. Just 2 days ago she was caught stealing again at boscov's. So that means she has been caught stealing 3 times within the past 3 months. The cop that arrested her at walmart was the same cop that arrested her at boscov's because she was caught in the same county for those. My question is will she be charged with a felony if this is her 3rd offense and normally how much jail time will she receive if any? I think I read that it can carry a 7 yr prison term but I would like to know from your experience normally what people have received for jail time. Thank you.

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Attorney answers 3


A third offense retail theft is a felony 3. The maximum penalty is 7 years imprisonment. The usual sentence is probation.

However, an experienced defense attorney may be able to assist you in achieving a negotiated pleas agreement which may reduce the grading of the charge.


yes and yes. As Mr. Morgan says the sentence will often be probation but I have seen jail sentences as well so it is certainly worth your friends while to retain counsel to represent him in this matter.


Yes, it could be charged as a 3rd degree Felony, but doesn't have to stay that way. If your friend has not hired an attorney, I strongly would advise him to do so quickly. Many times at a preliminary hearing you can convince the officer to drop the grading of the offense.

Paul A. Bauer, III, Esquire