Will retail theft charges be consecutive or concurrent for sentencing?

Q: What happens when 2 counties (PA) simultaneously charge Felony 3 retail theft and receiving stolen property lumped together? Husband recently arrested in Beaver County and charged w/2 counts each of retail theft and receiving stolen prop, all Felony 3’s. Allegheny County is also about to charge him with 1 count each of the same charge. He was on state parole at the time and his violation is the new charges. They are felony 3 due to his extensive criminal record; mainly from 10 plus years ago. The parole was from bad checks from 5 years ago. I know an F3 can result in 7 yrs. Unsure if 4 counts F3 mean 28 yrs? Consecutive or concurrent? Confused by the law…

A:  Two counties can charge him as long as each set of charges are for different offenses, arising out of different circumstances. For example, county A can charge for Retail Theft of shoes from Macy’s within County A jurisdiction but County B cannot charge Retail Theft for the same shoes from the same Macys in County A. County B can charge, for example, Fleeing and Eluding if there is a police chase in County B after the Retail Theft which happens in County A. In regard to the new charges, yes, although I wouldn’t expect it with your husband, the court can sentence consecutive (stacking) and not concurrent (merged). However, these types of crime probably “merge” for sentencing purposes. I think his potential parole violation is your biggest concern. The judge can sentence him to the balance of his prior probation sentence. If he is under the jurisdiction of the PA Board of Probation and Parole, his sentence will be whatever the PBPP normally doles out for parole violators in his situation under their rigid guidelines. If he is under state parole, he should ask his parole officer what the violation “hit” will be. If he cannot afford counsel for the PBPP hearing, he can request a Public Defender.


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