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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.