Irregardless of what motivated the theft, people who are indicted with theft charges can face horrifying repercussions; These can include hefty fines, a mark on their criminal record and in severe cases, a prison sentence. If you find yourself indicted with theft charges, you will need to retain a strong and aggressive criminal-defense attorney to passionately defend you.
Our experienced lawyers have tons of experience in defending individuals with theft charges and can devise specific strategies that can lessen serious charges and, in some cases, dismiss the charges altogether. They also have great knowledge of the laws surrounding theft, working relationships with judges and prosecutors and have succeeded in defending multiple cases involving theft charges in Pennsylvania.
The Facts About Theft Charges in Pennsylvania and the Consequences That Can Come If an Individual Is Convicted
Pennsylvania defines theft as any act that involved unlawful taking or disposition; To be more specific, they mean that theft is the unlawful taking of property that belongs to another individual with the intention of taking the property from them. However, you shouldn’t confuse this with shoplifting, as it is a separate charge that is used in cases of stealing from a business or a corporation, usually defined as “retail theft”, which can entail different sentencing guidelines and practices. Other forms of theft charges in Pennsylvania can include:
- Theft of lost property that was misplaced by the original owner
- Theft from a motor vehicle, which is defined by items being taken out of another individual’s vehicle
- Treating any rented or leased property as if it was owned. For example, renting a car and then attempting to sell it, destroy it or refuse its return to the original owner at the end of a lease
- Theft by failure, which is defined by failing to make payments on property when these payments are required through a legal agreement
Sentencing for theft typically follows guidelines that are based around the value of the item taken, and because of this it can be highly variable. First of all, theft can be either a misdemeanor or felony charge, which can affect an individual’s future professional career, as many employers will deny individuals with theft charges from certain positions. The guidelines around the value of the item taken are:
- Theft of anything worth $50 or less will be a third-degree misdemeanor
- If the theft had a value of more than $50 and under $200, it will be a second degree misdemeanor
- Theft of anything between the values of $200 and $2000 will be defined as a first degree misdemeanor
- Anything stolen that was worth more than $2000 can be considered a third degree felony
Theft doesn’t have a minimum or maximum punishment in Pennsylvania, but factors that can influence sentencing include if the theft was committed during a natural disaster, prior offenses and other charges committed along with the theft.
Our Experienced Attorneys Can Dismiss or Dispute Theft Charges of Any Degree
If you’ve been indicted with a theft charge, an experienced and determined prosecutor is already building a case against you, so why not build a case to defend yourself with an experienced criminal defense attorney? Our attorneys understand that a theft charge can impact your life greatly, so they are there to fully explore your options and help you every step of the way. We offer free consultations, so please schedule one today if you’ve been indicted with theft charges in Pennsylvania.