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Our firm has over 25 years of combined legal practice. Our Philadelphia criminal attorneys have been recognized by the top lawyer ranking services.
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If you’ve been accused of theft in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, our attorneys can help. Theft charges are serious and can negatively affect your reputation, employment, and criminal record. There are many defenses that can reduce or even have the charges dismissed. A highly skilled attorney can review your case to determine the best course of action.
Removing the property of another without permission is considered theft. Depending on the value of the item, it may vary from a simple summary offense all the way to a felony. Any theft of a firearm or a value over $2,000 may lead to the prosecutor filing the charges as a felony offense.
Removing merchandise from a business without paying its full retail value is retail theft. Merchandise that’s lower than $150 and a first offense is considered a summary offense. A second offense or merchandise between $151 to $2000 is considered a misdemeanor. Anything over that amount or a third offense may be considered a felony.
Theft by deception:
Theft by deception is a bit more complex than other forms of theft. Misrepresentations or failure to disclose pertinent information about a transaction may lead to theft by deception charges. Any theft by deception case that involves property that’s valued over $2,000 is typically considered a felony offense.
Bad check offenses:
Writing a bad check or knowingly writing a check that won’t be honored by a bank could result in a bad check offense. Checks that are written over $75,000 or writing three bad checks within five years can be considered a felony offense.
Forgery occurs when someone alters or attempts to defraud or harm another through falsified information or documents. When the offense involves a legal document or a governmental document, it is considered a felony. Forgery can involve several instruments including money, checks, documents, trademarks, credit cards, and several others. Forgery is a very serious offense and representation is an absolute must in this scenario.
Receiving stolen property:
Intentionally or knowingly receiving stolen property is a criminal offense. Even if you suspected that the property may have been stolen or should have known that the property was stolen, you may have charges filed against you. As with other types of theft, property valued at over $2,000 is escalated to a felony offense.
Our Montgomery County theft lawyers can prepare a defense that will either help to dismiss or reduce the impact of the charges. We’ll work to gather the evidence and determine what course of action is best. Successful defenses in other cases have included the following strategies:
Evidence must be obtained legally and be admissible in court. If the evidence wasn’t obtained through legal means or is insufficient, it may be thrown out and result in your case being dismissed.
Challenging the witness’s testimony:
Witnesses must be able to accurately recall the entire scenario in detail. Inconsistencies or a poor reputation can help in discrediting the witness’s testimony. Without the testimony of witnesses, the case may be dismissed.
Challenging criminal intent:
Probable cause is required to establish a theft case. The prosecutor must also be able to prove all elements of a theft case beyond a reasonable doubt. If intent is unable to be established or can be disproved, the charges are unwarranted.
Plea agreements and lenient sentencing requests:
If theft charges are substantiated, a plea agreement or a request for a reduced sentence may be requested. This is significantly helpful for repeat offenders. Those facing a first-time charge, hefty fines, or jail time can also greatly benefit.
Our Montgomery County theft lawyers will review your case to let you know exactly how we can help. Theft charges can lead to serious consequences if not handled in a competent manner. Reach out to us for your case evaluation, today.
Theft in Montgomery County is a serious offense. You could be looking at misdemeanor or felony charges depending on a number of factors. Often, theft is combined with other charges, such as breaking and entering. You will need to fully understand the charges you face as it can impact your entire life for the foreseeable future.
Your penalties can be harsh, but they are in place as a deterrent to prevent others from stealing what is not theirs. An aggressive defense can help you to overcome time in prison as well as significant fines.
There may be a lot of terms thrown around when you are being charged with theft.
Petty theft and grand theft are two of the most common charges. The stolen property’s value determines which one you would be charged with. If you steal property that is valued at less than $950, it is petty theft. Otherwise, anything over $1,000 would be grand theft.
If you use violence, intimidation or a threat, the theft turns into a robbery, which comes with heavier penalties, too. If you rob using a gun or a knife, it is now armed robbery because you are threatening with intent to harm a person. These penalties can be even more serious, with several years in state prison in many instances.
Fraud and embezzlement are also forms of theft, often identified as felonies. These are considered “white collar” crimes and are usually performed by someone that is trusted with the money. It’s not uncommon for such crimes to involve felony charges because they involve thousands and even millions of dollars.
The penalties you could face are going to depend on the type of theft you have committed, or are suspected of committing. You could be looking at between 30 days and seven years for the theft. Obviously, there’s a big difference there. This is why it’s critical to work with a lawyer. You don’t want to spend seven years in prison, so the goal is to work the sentencing down as a result of being able to offer community service or return the goods undamaged.
Misdemeanors generally include a small fine and up to 30 days in jail. First and second-degree felonies could result in prison time as well as larger fines.
The penalties will be based on consent, entrapment, duress, the value of the property, your age, as well as whether you have committed such crimes in the past. All of this will be used against you by the prosecuting attorney. Having legal counsel on your side will also make it easier to overcome these issues to, potentially, reduce the charges.
Montgomery County theft lawyers can help you in a number of ways. Especially if this is your first offense, it can be difficult to know the process. A lawyer will talk to you about the various hearings that you may have to go through before getting to the trial. Depending on the opposing counsel, there may also be the opportunity to accept a plea bargain.
The first step is establishing fault. Did you do what you’re accused of or not? This will determine how the case is going to be built. There may be the necessity to conduct an investigation to prove that you were not responsible for whatever was stolen. Otherwise, the case is built to reduce your sentencing.
You don’t want to go through the legal process on your own. It’s critical to work with a lawyer in Montgomery County that specializes in theft cases. It will make it easier to navigate the laws on your behalf.
Contact us today to have your case reviewed. It may be the best opportunity to reduce the charges and your sentencing
As your court date approaches, you may be worried or anxious about what you are facing. Before you appear in Montgomery County Magisterial District Court, you need to talk with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
A knowledgeable attorney can answer questions and represent you in front of the court, whether it’s for criminal charges or a traffic offense. The Law Offices of Amato Sanita has appeared in Pennsylvania’s Magisterial Courts representing hundreds of clients. We offer our clients caring counsel and a solid defense.
Your summons may indicate that you need to appear in Montgomery County Magisterial District Court 38-1-11 in Pottstown. You will appear before Magisterial District Judge Scott T. Palladino. The summons may be for a bench warrant, a non-jury trial, a preliminary hearing, a preliminary arraignment, or a traffic citation.
The Montgomery County Magisterial District Court 38-1-11 is located in Pottstown, about 32 miles northwest of central Philadelphia. This court covers Pottstown Borough’s Voting Districts 2-1, 2-2, 3, 4 and 5, as well as West Pottsgrove Township.
Pottstown has two Magisterial District Courts. It’s important to check your paperwork, so you appear in the correct court.
Montgomery County Magisterial District Courts have jurisdiction to decide traffic and non-traffic citations, along with landlord-tenant disputes and civil cases for damages under $12,000. The court also presides over preliminary hearings and arraignments in criminal cases.
The Magisterial District Courts in Montgomery County
Pennsylvania Magisterial District Courts decide all cases involving summary offenses. These charges are the least serious ones in the Pennsylvania criminal justice system. These offenses can include underage drinking, criminal mischief, first time shoplifting, harassment, disorderly conduct, and driving with a suspended license.
The Magisterial District Courts have a magisterial judge assigned who can administer oaths and perform marriages, along with presiding over other proceedings.
Montgomery County has a total of 30 Magisterial District Courts. All criminal cases start at this court level. That means all preliminary hearings and arraignments for both misdemeanors and felonies occur here. After these preliminary proceedings, the cases them move to the next higher level, the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas.
When you are charged with a traffic offense or a criminal charge, you need an experienced defense attorney. Depending on the details of your case, the attorney can offer several strategies for defense.
Why You Need An Experienced Attorney With You In A Pottstown Courtroom
The outcome of any criminal court case can have serious consequences. Take a summary offense for example. If you are convicted of a summary offense, the judge can remand you to jail for up to 90 days and fine you up to $300. If you already have a prior conviction, the sentence could go up to 180 days in jail.
While it might be tempting to just plead guilty and get it over with, that is not a smart move. Going to jail for even 90 days will change your future. While you are in jail, you could lose your job. You could get kicked out of your residence. If you have family that depends on you, they could struggle while you are in jail. When you get out, you may not be able to get a job or a decent place to live because you have a criminal record.
Before you walk into Montgomery County Magisterial District Court 38-1-11, you need to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney. Your lawyer can defend you against the charges and help you get a positive outcome. The attorney knows how the Magisterial District Court works. You can get sound advice on your case, and, in some circumstances, you may get the charges lessened or even dismissed.
For example, a common charge that appears in front of the courts is underage drinking. If your beverage wasn’t alcoholic, the attorney can gather evidence or get witness testimony to build your defense.
Call The Law Offices of Amato Sanita today.