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Our Philadelphia criminal lawyers have over 25 years
of combined legal practice – handling some of the
toughest cases in the country.

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SKA Law is a premier, Philadelphia criminal defense law firm, founded by professional criminal attorneys. We take on cases other law firms turn down, because we know how to fight – and when to negotiate. Our goal is to get you the best outcome possible. No fluff. No nonsense. Our focus is results.

Criminal Lawyers

Fewer Clients. Better Service And Results

SKA Law takes on fewer clients than other firms – it’s because we believe that taking on fewer clients means we can provide more service, and better results.

25 Years Of Legal Practice

Our firm has over 25 years of combined legal practice. Our Philadelphia criminal attorneys have been recognized by the top lawyer ranking services.

24/7 Customer Service

Our Philadelphia criminal attorneys are available 24/7- regardless of the holiday, or time of week. We are always available to help you.

Concierge Service

We take on fewer clients than other firms. Each client works 1:1 on with one of our senior attorneys.

Bucks County Theft Lawyers

A theft conviction can spell severe consequences for you. In addition to the overall blemish on your record, fines and incarceration rank among the possibilities. Whether the theft constitutes a misdemeanor or conviction and, therefore, the level of punishment depends on the value of what you stole. Employers can rely on felony theft convictions to deny you a job. You also face the possibility of being ineligible for certain professional licenses.

What is “Theft”?

Under Pennsylvania law, you commit theft when you take another’s property with the intent of keeping that property from him or her permanently. Of course, there exists physical taking of property by lifting, snatching or grabbing.

However, theft also arises from non-physical acts. These include:

*Deception: This method consists of false impressions about your intent to keep a promise involving the property, the value of property or its condition. Failing to perform or keep the promise, by itself, does not prove deception. Unless you falsely represented your intent to perform, the aggrieved party has at most a civil breach of contract claim. Withholding or concealing information that influences another’s judgment also proves theft by deception.

*Extortion: Theft by extortion means to acquire another’s property through threats of violence, other harm or criminal activity.

*Bad Checks: If you present a check for payment, knowing you don’t have enough in the bank to cover it or that the account is closed (or doesn’t exist), you have committed theft by writing a bad check to get the goods or service.

Retail theft, which may involve physical taking, applies when you take property from a retail establishment, such as a department, grocery or convenience store, or other business without paying full value. Normally, this full value is the price charged by the business.

Pennsylvania law also treats as theft your failure to attempt to return property you obtain, knowing it to be lost from its true owner. As a related matter, receiving property that you know is stolen also falls under the crime of theft.

When is Theft a Felony — Or Not Even a Crime?

In most cases, there is a dollar or value threshold that separates misdemeanor theft from felony theft. That amount is over $2,000.00.

Some theft convictions are felonies without regard to the value stolen. Examples include theft of the following items:

*Firearm
*Vehicle
*Vessel
*Airplane

When the property involved has a value under $50, Pennsylvania law classifies the theft as a “summary offense.” Such an act technically doesn’t count as a criminal conviction. However, it will appear on your criminal record, and you’ll face potentially up to 90 days in jail and a fine between $25 and $1,500.

How Can a Theft Lawyer Help You?

With a Bucks County theft lawyer, you have someone to protect your rights in a criminal prosecution or reduce the potential impact of a conviction. Specifically, a theft lawyer will examine the charges and evidence offered against you. This work includes gathering that evidence through interviewing witnesses, obtaining and reviewing surveillance video (if any) and police reports.

Since the value of the property determines the severity of the offense, a lawyer can aid you in contesting evidence of the price or value of what was taken. You might have other defenses, such as:

*You lacked intent to deprive the owner of the property, such as you mistook the property as your own, or you had a good faith claim to it

*You committed the theft, but under duress or threat of harm from another if you didn’t commit the act

Defense of theft charges also entails attempting to exclude statements you made in violation of your Miranda rights or other evidence obtained due to an illegal stop or search. Video recordings of your alleged theft might be inadmissible if the recording system was not working or is otherwise not reliable.

In some cases, the best result might be a reduction of the theft charges, especially to a misdemeanor that you might later be able to have “sealed” (protected from public inspection). In most cases, you do not have to disclose on employment or other applications charges or convictions that you seal. Even with more serious theft charges, the services of a Bucks County theft lawyer may help lessen the prospects of significant jail and other impacts of a theft conviction.

There are many ways to commit theft. In most cases, people tend to trivialize these crimes. When faced with theft charges, many do not seek the counsel of theft defense lawyers. Many hold the notion that they can defend themselves while others simply accept the punishment given without fighting. This is a risky thing to do because a criminal charge on your record may show up in background checks. Such a record may affect your chances of getting a job in the future. It is imperative and in your best interest to consult with a theft defense lawyer. You should do this immediately to protect your constitutional rights. It is ill-advised to admit guilt or innocence when you are arrested. You should always exercise the right to remain silent until you have a lawyer present.

Types of Theft Charges

Grand Theft

Grand theft is the theft of property of value above $400. Grand theft can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor with punishment ranging from 1 to 3 years of jail time.

Petty Theft

Petty theft is a minor charge with a maximum sentence of 6 months jail time or probation. Petty theft with a prior charge can either be treated as a felony or misdemeanor. A felony can carry a maximum of 3 years while a misdemeanor carries a maximum of one year in jail.

Embezzlement

Embezzlement is a theft charge where one is accused of stealing while either serving as a trustee or an employee. Depending on the extent of the money taken, this can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor.

Commercial Burglary

Stealing in commercial spaces can also be treated as a felony or misdemeanor. The maximum sentence for a felony is three years jail time.

Residential Burglary

Under the Penal Code, residential burglary is always charged as a felony. It carries a maximum sentence of 6 years jail time.

Auto Burglary

Auto burglary refers to the theft of a car or the contents of a vehicle. Again, depending on the circumstances of the case this can either be a felony or a misdemeanor.

Robbery

Robbery under the Penal Code is always treated as a felony. To prove a robbery charge, the prosecution must prove that property or goods were taken under fear or force. The charge may double if weapons were used. In the case of robbery with violence one may get up to 10 years jail time.

Theft Charges Defenses

One of the most common defenses used in these cases is lack of presence. If you are accused of a home invasion, this can be defended if you have an alibi. For you to be convicted, the prosecutor must prove beyond reasonable doubt that you were present at the scene of the crime during the time of the theft.

Another defense is that you have claims to the rights of property or goods. If you took a property because you believed that you have a ‘claim of right’, then this can lead to an acquittal. This is also proof that you had no intention to steal.

Lack of intent or mistake is another possible defense. For instance, you may forget to clear your shopping cart only to find that you took products that you had not paid for. If you are accused of theft in such an instance, then you can prove that you had no intention to commit the crime.

Let a Theft Defense Lawyer Help You

It is easy to find yourself accused of theft, even when you had no intention to steal. What follows can be a spiral of legal battles that you did not in the least foresee. To avoid this, get a lawyer in your corner to defend you. It is again easy for someone to twist facts and you find yourself in a deep mess. Do not take this risk. Talk to a lawyer immediately, and he will advise you on the best course of action.

There are many ways to commit theft. In most cases, people tend to trivialize these crimes. When faced with theft charges, many do not seek the counsel of theft defense lawyers. Many hold the notion that they can defend themselves while others simply accept the punishment given without fighting. This is a risky thing to do because a criminal charge on your record may show up in background checks. Such a record may affect your chances of getting a job in the future. It is imperative and in your best interest to consult with a theft defense lawyer. You should do this immediately to protect your constitutional rights. It is ill-advised to admit guilt or innocence when you are arrested. You should always exercise the right to remain silent until you have a lawyer present.

Types of Theft Charges

Grand Theft

Grand theft is the theft of property of value above $400. Grand theft can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor with punishment ranging from 1 to 3 years of jail time.

Petty Theft

Petty theft is a minor charge with a maximum sentence of 6 months jail time or probation. Petty theft with a prior charge can either be treated as a felony or misdemeanor. A felony can carry a maximum of 3 years while a misdemeanor carries a maximum of one year in jail.

Embezzlement

Embezzlement is a theft charge where one is accused of stealing while either serving as a trustee or an employee. Depending on the extent of the money taken, this can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor.

Commercial Burglary

Stealing in commercial spaces can also be treated as a felony or misdemeanor. The maximum sentence for a felony is three years jail time.

Residential Burglary

Under the Penal Code, residential burglary is always charged as a felony. It carries a maximum sentence of 6 years jail time.

Auto Burglary

Auto burglary refers to the theft of a car or the contents of a vehicle. Again, depending on the circumstances of the case this can either be a felony or a misdemeanor.

Robbery

Robbery under the Penal Code is always treated as a felony. To prove a robbery charge, the prosecution must prove that property or goods were taken under fear or force. The charge may double if weapons were used. In the case of robbery with violence one may get up to 10 years jail time.

Theft Charges Defenses

One of the most common defenses used in these cases is lack of presence. If you are accused of a home invasion, this can be defended if you have an alibi. For you to be convicted, the prosecutor must prove beyond reasonable doubt that you were present at the scene of the crime during the time of the theft.

Another defense is that you have claims to the rights of property or goods. If you took a property because you believed that you have a ‘claim of right’, then this can lead to an acquittal. This is also proof that you had no intention to steal.

Lack of intent or mistake is another possible defense. For instance, you may forget to clear your shopping cart only to find that you took products that you had not paid for. If you are accused of theft in such an instance, then you can prove that you had no intention to commit the crime.

Let a Theft Defense Lawyer Help You

It is easy to find yourself accused of theft, even when you had no intention to steal. What follows can be a spiral of legal battles that you did not in the least foresee. To avoid this, get a lawyer in your corner to defend you. It is again easy for someone to twist facts and you find yourself in a deep mess. Do not take this risk. Talk to a lawyer immediately, and he will advise you on the best course of action.

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Testimonials

"I found Michael Kotik via the internet with the hope by someone to help my son in what we thought was something routine. Long story short after being mislead by the prior firm and received no results and my son sat for 18 months in prison because "no one knew what was going on" Michael was able to not only..."
~ Michelle Doria
"I had a pleasure of dealing with Mike on couple of occasions. He is an amazing attorney. He always came through and did what was promised. Also he went above and beyond to assist with any request. He is definitely a fighter and will do what is needed to come out with the best outcome"
~ Ella Shapiro

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1518 Walnut Street st 808, Philadelphia, PA 19102

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Philadelphia

1518 Walnut Street st 808, Philadelphia, PA 19102

800-646-6048

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Philadelphia

1518 Walnut Street st 808, Philadelphia, PA 19102

800-646-6048

Get Directions

Philadelphia

1518 Walnut Street st 808, Philadelphia, PA 19102

800-646-6048

Get Directions