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What's my punishment for shoplifting?

New Paris, PA |

I was caught shoplifting at Wal-Mart in Pennsylvania. The merchandise is worth under $150, I am 17, and do not have any previous juvenile record.

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Attorney answers 3


You have committed a summary offense is this is your first retail theft and the amount was under $150. Your punishment if you plead guilty or are found guilty will probably be a fine and perhaps attend some type of retail theft school. However, there may be a diversion program available that will allow you to earn a dismissal of the charge. You should speak to a criminal defense lawyer to see if you have any defense or if there is a diversion program. Although a fine doesn't seem like much the ramifications of a criminal record tor a theft offense can be devastating. Good luck.



Do you think probation is a possibility?

Christopher M. Patterson

Christopher M. Patterson


It is always a possibility; to a large degree it depends on the particular MDJ who hears the matter. Perhaps you should speak to a lawyer who is familiar with the MDJ to get a better idea of what to expect.


It is strongly suggested that you not plead guilty. Instead, your family should retain a criminal defense attorney who will explore all options to protect your interest. Good luck.


You and your family should contact a defense attorney immediately. Often these matters can be resolved through a diversion program not involving the juvenile court.

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