A theft conviction can have devastating effects on your finances, career, and personal life. You have the right to legal representation when defending yourself.
A Bucks County theft crimes lawyer from our firm can fight to get your charges reduced or dismissed. During a free consultation, we’ll examine the many different defenses that may help us eliminate or alleviate your charges.
How Our Theft Crimes Lawyer Can Defend You
There are different defenses for theft crime cases, and we may be able to argue the following:
There Isn’t Sound Evidence Against You
A criminal conviction rests on evidence. We may argue the prosecution doesn’t have satisfactory evidence against you or that it wasn’t properly acquired and isn’t admissible in court.
There Was a Misunderstanding
To convict someone of theft, the prosecutor must prove that there was intent to commit a crime. If they have evidence that you possessed stolen property, they still need to prove that you intentionally stole it or knew that it was stolen when you acquired it. Our team can work to demonstrate that you did not know you were in possession of stolen property. We may argue that you were unaware that you or the person you acquired it from committed a crime.
You may have believed you owned the item in question. For example, if you were at a group event and you mistakenly took someone else’s wallet, you might have thought it was your own. This is a simple misunderstanding, not a crime.
A person also may have given you explicit permission to use or take an item of theirs. If the person forgot about giving you permission or changed their mind, this could lead to a misunderstanding. For instance, if a friend lent you their tool kit, changed their mind, and reported it missing, this would be a misunderstanding.
We Can Fight for the Best Possible Outcome
Our legal team can tailor a defense strategy to suit your unique situation. Many factors will come into play, such as the extent of the charges you face and the evidence we gather. Your outcome could include:
The difference between grand theft and petty theft is major. Your lawyer could argue that the item(s) in your possession did not exceed a certain amount and argue for reduced charges. This can result in fewer fines and less or no prison time. You may also have the option to serve a probation term in lieu of worse consequences.
Dismissal of the Charges
In the best-case scenario, a lawyer from our firm may be able to get your charges dismissed entirely. Each case is unique, but our legal team will work to get you the best outcome possible.
Expunction of the Charge
If you are charged with a theft crime but otherwise have a clean criminal record, you may qualify for an expunction of the charge. Your charge could be hidden or even completely removed from your record. Our team can check whether you could qualify for an expunction.
What Are the Penalties for Theft Crimes in Pennsylvania?
When a person is charged with a theft crime in Pennsylvania, they may face fines and a prison sentence. The amount of fines and duration of their sentence depend on the nature of the theft crime. Factors include the monetary value of the allegedly stolen property, as well as whether you allegedly threatened anyone during the act or used a firearm.
According to 18 Pa. C.S. § 3922, a theft offense can be any of the following charges:
- Third-degree misdemeanor
- Second-degree misdemeanor
- First-degree misdemeanor
- Third-degree felony
- Second-degree felony
- First-degree felony
What Charges Can a Theft Crimes Lawyer Defend Against?
A theft crimes lawyer from our firm can defend against charges stemming from the following offenses:
This offense occurs when a person enters a private location with the intent to steal. Burglary also occurs when a person remains inside a private location after the person’s permission to stay has been rescinded and steals something.
With this theft crime, an offender steals money or property from a victim. The offender may use force, violence, or the instilling of fear during the crime. Carjacking is an example of robbery.
This can include shoplifting, stealing a shopping cart, switching items from one packaging container to another, or altering/removing an item’s price tag/label/product code.
Petty theft involves stolen property that has a relatively low monetary value, such as food.
With this offense, a person steals property that has a much greater value, such as a car or piece of fine jewelry.
A Theft Crime Conviction Can Take a Heavy Toll on Your Life
It’s important to take a theft crime charge seriously, as a conviction can have a lasting effect on your life. A criminal record can make it difficult to find a job, complete your education, and enjoy your personal life. Some employers and schools will not even consider hiring or admitting someone with a criminal record.
Even your personal relationships with family and friends can even suffer. For example, you could lose custody of your child and miss out on important events if you have to serve a prison sentence.
You will want to do everything you can to avoid a theft crime conviction, and it starts with building a defense.
Connect With Our Firm to Get Help from a Bucks County Theft Crimes Lawyer
If you or a loved one got charged with a theft crime, remember that you do not have to defend yourself alone. A lawyer from McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. can explore your potential defenses or any methods of alleviating your charges. Throughout the legal process, your lawyer will remain accessible to you via email, text, phone, and/or social media.
Our firm serves Bucks County, PA, and surrounding communities. To set up a free consultation with a member of our team, call McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. today.