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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.
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.
Our firm has over 25 years of combined legal practice. Our Philadelphia criminal attorneys have been recognized by the top lawyer ranking services.
Our Philadelphia criminal attorneys are available 24/7- regardless of the holiday, or time of week. We are always available to help you.
We take on fewer clients than other firms. Each client works 1:1 on with one of our senior attorneys.
Pensylvania recognizes multiple types of theft offenses. Based on specific circumstances of the case a theft offense maybe classified as a misdemeanor or felony. Regardless, individuals who are under investigation or who have been formally charged with any type of theft should immediately contact a Delaware theft defense lawyer to seek legal counsel in representation.
General Theft Offenses in Delaware County
Under state law, theft is defined as intentionally taking or withholding someone else’s property by deception. Pennsylvania’s theft statutes include crimes against property that would otherwise be referred to as a larceny in other jurisdictions. A person engages in deception if he or she:
1. Creates or reinforces a false impression
2. Prevents another person from obtaining information that would influence his or her decision in making a transaction
3. Theft of property that has been lost or mistakenly delivered
4. Fails to correct a false impression he or she created in a situation in which he or she owes a fiduciary duty to the other party
Delaware County Misdemeanor Theft
The classification of a theft charge mostly depends on the dollar value of the stolen item. If an item is valued at less than $50 the offense is typically classified as a summary offense which is less severe than a misdemeanor. A defendant who is convicted of a summary offense may be sentenced to a maximum of 90 days in jail and ordered to pay a fine between $25 and $1,500 depending on the severity of the case. Summary offenses do appear on a convicted person’s criminal record. Therefore, anyone who is accused of stealing an item that is valued at less than $50 should take the situation very seriously and consult a Delaware County defense attorney. If the stolen item is valued between $51 and $2,000, the defendant may be convicted of a third degree misdemeanor theft offense. The charge is elevated to a second-degree felony if the stolen item exceeds $2,000 in value, is a vehicle, is a vessel, or is an airplane. If the defendant is convicted of stealing a firearm, the offense is classified as a first degree felony theft charge.
Types of theft in Delaware County
Pennsylvania recognizes several different types of takings in theft cases. Theft by taking occurs when a person takes someone else’s property by deceiving the other party.
Theft by extortion occurs when an individual takes or withhold someone else’s property by threatening to harm the other party or by threatening to commit another criminal act. Theft of services takes place when an individual receives a service and does not render the required compensation in exchange for the service. Theft of Lost Property occurs when an individual does not attempt to return someone else’s property that was lost or misdelivered. The jury is also less likely to konvictt an individual who committed an act of theft as a result of being under duress.
Defenses Against Theft in Deleware County
There are multiple defenses that may help a person who is accused of theft in Pennsylvania be acquitted of the charge. Age may be a defense in cases that involve children or minors. A person who did not intend to deprive the property owner of his or her property is not likely to be convicted of theft. If the defendant is able to establish that he or she had the intention or attempted to return the property to the rightful owner he or she is likely to be acquitted.
Individuals who are facing a theft charge in Delaware County are advised to contact a Pennsylvania theft defense lawyer prior to discusding the case with law enforcement. Defendants may request an attorney at any point during the investigative and trial processes. A Delaware County theft defense attorney may be able to help individuals who have been accused of theft defend their reputation and potentially avoid time in prison.
Whether it’s you or a member of your family, appearing in the Delaware County Magisterial District Court is stressful and overwhelming. If you’re unfamiliar with the law, you don’t know what to expect or what will happen before the judge. This is why it’s imperative you consult with a criminal defense attorney prior to your hearing. What’s facing you is serious business, and handling it without the knowledge and legal know-how of an attorney could result in a negative recourse. An experienced attorney can help with your questions and your case, and you have a better chance of a more positive outcome with expert legal help on your side.
Why Am I Appearing in Magisterial Court?
There are many reasons you might receive a summons to appear in this court, though none of those reasons makes you feel comfortable. From a traffic citation to a bench warrant for your arrest to a preliminary arraignment hearing, you might have any number of problems in your life that an attorney can handle with ease.
One of the biggest problems you might face with a summons of this nature has nothing to do with the legalities of your case, either. There are numerous magisterial courts in this area, and you might not appear in the right court. If you mistakenly go to the wrong district court, you may miss your hearing and be held in contempt of court. This is grounds for an automatic arrest despite the fact that it was an honest mistake. This is the number one reason you need to check the address and the court number, and it’s one of the main reasons to consult with an attorney.
It’s The Least Serious, But It’s Still Serious
If you have an issue with a landlord or a tenant or you were caught shoplifting small goods, this is the court you will appear in. This court is not a major crimes court, but it’s one that does decide your future. Do not let the fact that this magistrate handles the least serious crimes in terms of offense stop you from making the right choice when it comes to your legal representation choices. Here’s what you can expect in this court during a hearing.
If the judge finds you guilty of any of the offenses handled in this specific court, you could be fined up to $300. It’s a lot of money for some families, and it’s the least serious consequence many guilty parties face. Your punishment might also include a jail sentence of up to 90 days. If you’re not a first time offender, your offense might increase to up to 180 days in jail.
This is enough to disrupt your life and the life of your family tremendously. You’ll lose your job, you’ll find it difficult to obtain work when you are released with a criminal record, and you may lose your family in the process. Do not let this happen to yourself simply because you chose not to work with a legal representative who has your best interests at heart.
Call A Criminal Defense Attorney
There is no crime too small for an attorney to handle. Even a small, petty crime with a fine and minimal jail time is enough to completely ruin your life. Call the attorneys in our offices to discuss your case. Our team of professionals is assembled to help you figure out what to do next, how to handle your case, and how to keep your punishment to a minimum if we cannot get you off without a not-guilty charge. You have options, but you need to exercise your rights to receive the best possible outcome from your magisterial appearance. Do not ignore your summons. Call an attorney. Get the help you need, and make sure you have the best chance at securing a bright future.