Retail theft at Giant Eagle. Will I go to jail?


Q: I have been charged with retail theft, a misdemeanor. This was at a Giant Eagle the amount was around 150 in merchandise. The merchandise was in the cart I did not leave the store. I went to the front to get other merchandise. I was stopped. Nothing was concealed. The store is not seeking restitution as there was no merchandise taken. This is now in a court hearing in a few weeks this is a huge misunderstanding. What do I do how much jail time can I get? Is there any way out of this without a record? I am to start law school next fall. If I am convicted that is over. This is crazy.


A: You really, really, should hire a lawyer and go over all of the facts with him or her, and learn what your options are. You don’t always have to leave the store for a prima facie case of Retail Theft to be met. The statute speaks of “concealment”. I have had many clients who have not left the store but have concealed something on their person or in their cart, while in the store, and are charged. I don’t know what happened here but you may have a defense. If you assert you are innocent, your attorney can look at the video if there is any. He or she can advise you if you have a defense worth pursuing. If you don’t have a defense, and you have no criminal record, an attorney will know how to get you out of this with no record which will benefit your career endeavors immensely.

If you feel like this issue relates to you, or a problem that you are experiencing, please contact me so that we can discuss your situation.