What are the chances of a person being given jail time for their 1st offense of retail theft if they have an over-ringing charge from a previous employer?

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What are the chances of a person being given jail time for their 1st offense of retail theft if they have an over-ringing charge from a previous employer?

When leaving a store, I failed to pay for 2 blouses in my cart. Security pulled me aside and took me in a room and charged me with retail theft. I barely got a few sentences out. He took my information and asked if I was ever caught shoplifting before. I said no but had an over-ringing charge from over a year ago and wasn’t sure if that would be considered retail theft. The security man came back and said tht over-ringing is a different form of retail theft and nothing came up in his system on me having a prior offense. What/s the odds of me doing jail time

Asked on June 21, 2012 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

With just about any criminal case, there is always a "chance" that you could be given jail time.  However, if you don't have a criminal history and this really is your first retail theft offense, then you have a very good shot at alternative forms of sentencing that will not result in jail time.  This usually involves paying restitution, completeing community service, and placement on probation.  If the prior "over-ringing" charge didn't show up, it's possible that your former employer never went through with the charges.  Penalities increase as your number of charges increase--- so you may want to hire an attorney that can negotiate some type of conditional dismissal--like payment of restitution in exchange for.....  The facts you describe are also a bit thin.  You may want an attorney to review these facts to see if there are any specialized defenses that could get you an outright dismissal.


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