Scranton Theft Crimes Defense Lawyer
In Pennsylvania, theft crimes are placed into two categories. The first, and most common, involves the theft of property that is “movable and tangible”. Examples of this type of theft include shoplifting, stealing a person’s wallet, and robbery. The second type of theft in the state involves theft of property that is “immovable and intangible,” such as real estate or an individual’s personal information. Items can be stolen in a number of ways, and penalties for theft will vary depending on the nature and severity of the crime.
In all cases, theft crimes are taken very seriously in Pennsylvania. If convicted, a person could face high fines, restitution to the victim, and even jail time. It is for this reason that anyone charged with a theft crime needs to speak to a Scranton theft crimes lawyer that can help them with their defense.
Types of Theft Charges in Pennsylvania
There are many different types of theft charges a person could face in Pennsylvania. The most common include:
- Credit card theft
- Identity theft
- Receiving stolen property
- Theft by unlawful taking
- Theft from a motor vehicle
- Unauthorized use of an automobile
Categories of Theft
There are a few different ways a person can commit theft in Pennsylvania. The most common are theft by unlawful acquisition or disposition, theft committed through deception, and theft of lost or mislaid property.
Theft by unlawful acquisition or disposition refers to a type of theft done with either movable or immovable property. This occurs when a person steals or takes control over another person’s property, with the intention of depriving a person from their property. Robbery and burglary are the two most common types of these offenses.
Theft can also be committed through deception. This theft crime occurs when an individual steals or takes control of another person’s belongings through the use of deception. Asking people to donate to a fake charity when a person is simply trying to obtain their money is one example of theft by deception.
Theft of lost or mislaid property is another category of a theft crime. When someone comes in possession of another person’s property, and they do not try to restore it to the owner, this can be considered theft. If furniture was mistakenly delivered to the wrong home for example, and the person within that home kept the furniture, this could be considered theft.
Penalties for Theft Crimes in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, theft crimes are charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. In most cases, the prosecution will determine this based on the value of the property that was stolen. Both misdemeanors and felonies can have very serious penalties.
A simple shoplifting charge may be classified as a first-degree misdemeanor offense if the item stolen was worth more than $200. If convicted, a person could be sentenced to five years in jail and a fine up to $10,000. If the property was valued over $2,000, it may result in a third-degree felony charge. Upon conviction this type of offense can result in up to seven years in jail and a fine up to $15,000.
While most theft charges are based on the value of the property stolen, there are exceptions to this. These exceptions may be applied when there are other factors that must be considered in a case. For example, if someone used a firearm during the course of a robbery, they would face harsher penalties upon conviction than if they had not used a firearm.
How a Scranton Theft Crime Attorney Can Help
Anyone facing charges of a theft crime needs to speak to a theft crime lawyer in Scranton as soon as possible. There are defenses to these crimes, and an attorney can use them to create a strong case for anyone facing charges. An attorney will also analyze the evidence in a case, determine the best defense to use, and consider other factors, such as police misconduct, that could have the entire case thrown out of court. An attorney will also have the necessary knowledge to negotiate with the prosecution, and effectively argue a case in court.
If you have been charged with a theft crime, contact Ernest D. Preate, Jr., Esquire at 570-558-5970. We offer free consultations, so call us today and we will begin reviewing your case.