This should be considered a second offense under our current retail theft statute and as such will be graded as a misdemeanor 2 punishable by up to two (2) years in jail. Absent some other significant convictions in your criminal history, you are not looking at jail time; probation and a possible fine are far more likely. Having legal counsel to assist you would be helpful. If you are unable to afford counsel, you should qualify for the public defender. You might want to make contact with the Wayne County Public Defender's Office as soon as you are able if you are in need of counsel.
At its most basic, the penalties for theft in PA look like this: If the value of the property involved is less than $50, the offense constitutes a misdemeanor of the third degree under Pennsylvania law. (18 Pa. Const. Stat. Ann. § 3903.) A misdemeanor in the third degree carries a maximum sentence of one year of incarceration and a fine of no more than $2,500. (§ 1103, § 1101.)
If the value of the property involved is more than $50, but less than $200, the offense constitutes a misdemeanor of the second degree under Pennsylvania law. (18 Pa. Const. Stat. Ann. § 3903.) Conviction for a misdemeanor in the second degree in Pennsylvania can result in a sentence of two years of incarceration, and a fine of no more than $5,000. (§ 1103, § 1101.)
Theft that does not otherwise qualify as a felony under Pennsylvania law constitutes a misdemeanor of the first degree, so long as the property is valued at more than $200. (18 Pa. Const. Stat. Ann. § 3903.) A misdemeanor in the first degree under Pennsylvania law can result in a sentence of incarceration of five years, and a fine of no more than $10,000. (§ 1103, § 1101.)
I would need to know more about your prior offenses and precisely with what you are being charged to anticipate the impact of your prior offenses.
I strongly advise you to retain an experienced criminal lawyer to represent you.
I am an attorney in Pennsylvania but I am not currently *your* attorney. Nothing in my communication should be construed as creating an attorney/client relationship. Please contact me if you wish to retain me as your counsel.
Retail Theft is a progressive crime. The penalty enhances each time you commit the crime. Typically, a third offense is a felony, however do to the age of your first offense, it should be treated as a misdemeanor. You should retain an experienced criminal defense attorney to make sure all options are explored and that you are fully protected.