Shoplifting in PA: Penalties and Consequences

Shoplifting is one of the most common crimes across the country, including Pennsylvania. Every day in PA, someone somewhere is taking something that doesn’t belong to them. Retail theft is taking something from a store that doesn’t belong to you without paying for it. In some instances, people steal because of financial problems, while others do it simply because they can.

Shoplifting is a serious offense, and it can have serious consequences for your future. No matter how small the item you shoplift, you could end up facing jail time. In Pennsylvania, shoplifting can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. While a misdemeanor charge is less serious than a felony, it shouldn’t be taken lightly. There are three possible misdemeanor shoplifting charges, and each charge carries the possibility of jail time.

  • Misdemeanor 3 Shoplifting – when the value of the stolen goods is less than $50. A conviction of Misdemeanor 3 Shoplifting carries a maximum penalty of up to one year in jail.
  • Misdemeanor 2 Shoplifting – when the value of the stolen goods is over $50. A conviction of Misdemeanor 2 Shoplifting can result in up to three years in jail.
  • Misdemeanor 1 Shoplifting – when the value of the stolen goods is more than $200. A conviction of Misdemeanor Shoplifting 1 carries a maximum penalty of five years in jail.
  • Felony Retail Theft – when the value of the stolen goods is more than $2,000. A conviction of Felony Retail Theft carries a maximum penalty of seven years in jail.

If you’ve been arrested for shoplifting, make your first phone call for bail bonds in Allentown, PA, to Liberty Bail Bonds. We’ll get you released and back home with your family while you prepare for the next phase in your case.

What You Shouldn’t Do While Out On Bail

After you’ve been released from jail, you are likely given some restrictions from the judge on what you can and cannot do. The same is true from the bail bondsman you use. It’s not uncommon for a set of restrictions to be put in place while you await your trial or the next phase in your case. First, be sure to stick close to those guidelines so as not to find yourself back in jail for breaking the rules. Here’s a list of additional don’ts to keep in mind when free on bail.

Don’t leave the state or country without checking with your bail bondsman
In paying your Lancaster County bail bonds, the bail bondsman is taking responsibility for you and ensuring you show up in court on time. Their reputation is on the line if you fail to show, so for this reason, they like to keep close tabs on you.

Don’t get arrested again
This should go without saying, but you shouldn’t do anything illegal to get yourself arrested while out on bail. Going out and doing illegal activities will put you at risk of getting arrested again and will nullify your bond – meaning instead of being at home with your family awaiting trial, you’ll be in jail waiting out your time.

Don’t be late for court
Don’t ever miss your court appearance. When you show up in court, your bail amount is returned to the bail bondsman. After the trial, the bondsman will return your collateral. However, if you don’t show up, the court will keep your bail; at this point, your bail bond will be in default. Your bondsman will keep your collateral, and you may owe them additional money.



First Call – Bail Bondsman or Lawyer?


The last place anyone wants to find themselves is behind bars in a jail cell. But if you do, your first concern is getting out as quickly as possible. After you’ve been taken into police custody and booked, you will be arraigned. This is where you will be read the formal charges and possibly be given the opportunity to post bail – a set amount of money determined by the judge that you need to pay in exchange for your release.

So who do you call first when you’re in this predicament? Do you phone your lawyer to be present for your initial hearing, or do you contact a bail bondsman to secure your release from jail as soon as possible? If you can afford both, call both. However, the majority of people don’t have the funds to afford both, so that’s likely not an option for you either. The fact of the matter is bail bondsman can potentially secure your immediate release from prison. A lawyer often cannot. Once released from prison, you can then work on securing an attorney to represent you. But without posting bail, you’ll be doing all of that from behind prison bars.

When you’re facing criminal charges, jail is not the place you want to be while you await trial. You’ll want to be home with your family, receiving the support you need, and return to work and normal activities. Liberty Bail Bonds has locations all across Pennsylvania to assist you with Delaware county bail bonds. Contact us immediately should you find yourself in need of our assistance.


Common Possessions Used For Bail Bond

If you or someone you care about gets in trouble with the law, one of your first questions is likely to know if they are eligible for bail. The second question might be to ask how you will pay the bail. While the law requires that bail not be excessive, the total amount due is often more cash than most people have available at any given time. In some instances, the defendant may require the service of a bail bondsman to get them out of jail, while others might be able to use collateral for their bail bond. But what exactly can be used as collateral for Lancaster County bail bonds? Let’s take a closer look at the most common possessions used.

Real Estate – This can include using your home, land, or another commercial property building that you own in full or have significant equity in. Real estate that is still primarily owned by the bank is generally not accepted.

Vehicles – Titles for a car, motorcycle, ATV, snowmobile, or a camper can be used, assuming you own them in full, much like real estate, as bail collateral.

Valuables – The most common valuables used for bail collateral include jewelry made from precious metal of silver or gold, diamonds, or firearms.


Your Responsibilities After Signing A Bail Bond

When someone you know has been arrested, they may turn to you for help in posting their bail. If you agree to help them, you will have the option to either pay the full bail amount directly to the court in cash, pay through a property bond, or to use the services of a bail bondsman. When you sign a contract for bail bonds in Allentown, PA, with a licensed bail bonds company, you are known as the indemnitor and take on a large responsibility in regards to the defendant.  The duties of the indemnitor include:

#1 Making sure the defendant attends every court hearing
As the indemnitor, you are expected to ensure the defendant makes each court date appearance that is required of them.

#2 Pay additional fees if the defendant misses a court date
If, for any reason, the defendant misses a scheduled court date, you, as the indemnitor, are responsible for paying any additional fees.

#3 Pay the entirety of the bond if the defendant disappears
You will be responsible for paying the whole amount of the bail that was originally set by the court if the defendant misses court dates and cannot be found. If collateral was used – whether that was real estate or a vehicle – those items will not be returned, and your home could be put into foreclosure.


Different Types of Bail Bonds

 When a person is arrested, it is not uncommon for the judge to set bail for the accused person. In cases where a person is accused of a serious crime, such as homicide, or they are a flight risk, bail may be denied, and they must stay in jail, but in many cases, bail is set. Bail, or a criminal bond, is a financial guarantee that the defendant will appear for all future court appearances. This means a person must pay all or part of the designated bail amount set by the judge in order to be released from jail.

There are several different types of bail a judge might order. Which type depends on the charges, criminal history, and other factors. The four most common types of bail bonds used to secure a defendant’s release from jail are their own recognizance, cash bond, property bond, and a surety bond.

Own Recognizance: This type of bond means no money is required for release, but the defendant must sign a legal form stating they promise to appear in court as required in the future. This arrangement is only allowed when the crime is nonviolent, and the suspect is not considered dangerous or a flight risk.

Cash Bail:  This means paying the entire bond in cash. In some instances, the court will accept checks or credit cards, but this is not always permitted.

Property Bond: In this case, the defendant can put up financial property, such as their home or other real estate, as collateral as opposed to paying their bail in cash.

Surety Bond: Most people don’t have the funds needed to post bail and instead choose to use a bail bondsman. A Delaware County bail bonds company can post a defendant’s bond to release them from jail. For surety bonds, a bail bondsman typically charges a non-refundable fee. This fee covers their risk in the event the defendant does not appear in court.

Choosing Surety Bail Bonds

There are many different types of bonds and each one is designed to handle different types of situations. Your local bail bondsman is knowledgeable about what types of bonds work for what types of cases and will guide you towards the solution you need.

One type of bond that many people don’t know a lot about is the surety bond. This bond is a contract between three different parties that financially guarantees to an obligee that the principal will act in accordance with any of the terms that are established by the bond. The three parties include:

  • The Principal – This is the individual or business that actually purchases the bond.
  • The Obligee – This is the entity that requires the bond. Typically this is a government agency.
  • The Surety – This is the insurance company that backs the bond. They provide a line of credit just in case the principal fails to fulfill the task.

This is a good bond choice if you are concerned about the accused not showing up to court dates. Keep in mind, there can be both financial and legal repercussions if this happens. The idea of the surety bond is to reduce the penalties of the principal. It is important to note that it does not reduce the potential penalties of the accused.

Areas in Montgomery County We Serve

Every county has its own unique set of laws that govern how the bail process works. While these variations may not seem like much, if you are looking to get out as soon as possible, working with a bail bondsman that understands the nuances of the county regulations in which you have been arrested is an absolute must.

When it comes to Montgomery County bail bonds, the team at Liberty Bail Bonds is ready to help you. We understand the different types of bonds that go with different types of situations – as well as the related paperwork. This process allows us to expedite the process so you or your loved one doesn’t have to spend a moment longer in jail than necessary.

There are many different types of bail bonds available throughout this county. Our team is here to help you with all of them. It is our goal to help you get back to your life without delay so that you can adequately prepare for any upcoming legal challenges you might be facing. Feel confident reaching out to us when you are in need of:

Appeal Bonds
Immigration Bonds
Misdemeanor Bonds
Felony Bonds
Appearance Bonds
PFA Bonds
Surety Bonds

Requesting Appeal Bonds

A type of surety bond, an appeal bond is made when you have lost a civil court case and are looking to appeal the results. These bail bonds in Allentown, PA, essentially allow you to delay paying the judgment until after the appeals process is over. Court costs can end up driving up your expenses pretty quickly, especially if you are moving to an appeals process. That means, for financial security, it can sometimes be wise to protect your assets until a final verdict has been reached.

Purchasing an appeals bail bond from a licensed bondsman usually costs a percentage of the original judgment. You will be required to attend all court hearings related to your case and, if you lose your appeal, you will be required to pay the full amount of the judgment. If you win your appeal, however, you will only have to pay the fee.

Since most judgments must be paid within 30 days, even during an appeals process, it can be a major help for you to work with a bond agent to minimize having to give the court the full amount of money you owe before the appeals process is over. This bond helps you avoid doing that.

What are Immigration Bonds?

With Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents more active than ever before, the odds of getting a stressful phone call about a loved one being arrested for being undocumented are quite high. If you receive this call, it is vital that you do not panic. There are Monroe County bail bonds designed to address this specific issue.

An immigration bond allows the undocumented worker or illegal alien to be released the same way that someone accused of a crime would be released under a standard bail bond. Also known as a surety bond, this is a contract between Homeland Security, the obligor, the co-obligor, and the principal. It guarantees that the immigrant will appear in court as required.

A bail bond agent will go through all of the paperwork and rules regarding your bond with you. Remember, if the accused does not follow the rules of their bond then not only will they end up back behind bars, but you will also have to pay the entire bond amount instead of just the nominal bondsman’s fee.

Don’t get caught up in the confusing paperwork and bureaucracy of the immigration court system. Instead, take guidance from a bail bond agent and attorney to make the entire process much easier and to avoid any potential mistakes that could jeopardize your case or financial future.