In the state of Pennsylvania, depriving a rightful owner of his or her property is considered theft. There are many different types of theft offenses under Pennsylvania law, some of which are misdemeanor offenses and some of which are felony offenses.

A conviction for theft can result in various criminal penalties including fines, a requirement to make restitution, jail time, community service and counseling. If convicted of theft, you will have a criminal record that interferes with your future career plans.

To avoid the grave consequences of a theft conviction, or to minimize the potential penalties you may face when charged with theft, it is advisable to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. The Pennsylvania criminal defense firm of Lawrence R. Dworkin has provided legal representation in many theft cases and we can put our legal expertise to work for you in defending yourself against theft charges. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you.

Pennsylvania Laws on Theft

There are a number of different types of wrongful acts that can be considered theft crimes in the state of Pennsylvania. For example, some examples of theft crimes may include:

  • Shoplifting
  • Running a retail theft ring
  • Altering merchandise tags or concealing merchandise
  • Writing bad checks
  • Theft of lost or mislaid property (taking items you know are lost without making a good faith effort to find the owner)
  • Theft by deception (i.e. lying to obtain goods, services or money)
  • Extortion
  • Receiving or keeping stolen property
  • Theft of services (i.e. allowing someone to provide services such as labor or a restaurant meal that you cannot or do not intend to pay for)
  • Stealing a car

You may also be found guilty of a crime if you are found in possession of devices designed to facilitate theft. For instance, if you are in possession of a tool used to remove security tags from clothing and other items, this can lead to criminal charges.

Getting Legal Help in Pennsylvania Theft Cases

The potential penalties for theft are going to vary depending upon the value of goods that you stole and the type of goods you stole. For instance:

  • Theft of a gun, firearm or vehicle is a felony
  • Theft of $2,000 or more of items, goods or services is also a felony and can result in up to 7 years of incarceration.
  • Theft of items valued between $200 and $2000 can result in first degree misdemeanor charges and up to five years of incarceration.
  • Theft of items valued between $50 and $200 can result in second degree misdemeanor charges and up to 2 years of incarceration.
  • Theft of items valued under $50 is usually charged as a third degree misdemeanor and the maximum penalty is one year in prison.

These penalties indicate that it is possible to be incarcerated even for a first offense of a very small amount of goods or services, although, in most cases, first time offenders accused of simply shoplifting will avoid jail time.

In every case, however, whether you face misdemeanor or felony charges, it is important to have proper legal representation to look out for your interests and to help ensure you achieve the best possible outcome. At the criminal defense law firm of Lawrence R. Dworkin, we can put our legal expertise to work for you in your theft case. Contact us today using our online form or via phone at 610-357-3506 to learn how we can help.

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