Theft and robbery are offenses involving dishonesty. However, the prosecution must prove intent before a conviction can be obtained. If you are being investigated or charged for a theft crime, you could face severe penalties that can follow you for the rest of your life.
Do not leave your future to chance. As a law firm with an exclusive focus on criminal defense, our Chester County Theft Crimes Lawyers are determined advocates in your defense. We will ensure you understand your rights and options while guiding you through the legal process.
We Can Help You Build a Robust Defense
In Pennsylvania, the theft charges can range from a third-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree felony. McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. can help you build a robust defense no matter what level of theft charge you face. However, we also understand that people can make mistakes and often do not deserve the full extent of penalties imposed. As such, we are here to be your calm in the storm, protect your rights, and help you reach the best conclusion for your situation.
Our legal team provides honest and straightforward advice while guiding you throughout your case. We will do everything we can to clear you of any wrongdoing or have your sentence reduced where possible while seeking to mitigate any damage to your reputation, relationships, and livelihood.
Per state law, theft can cover a broad range of illegal conduct such as:
- Theft by exploitation
- Identity theft
- Receiving stolen property
- Theft of services
What to Do If You Are Arrested on Suspicion of Theft
If you are arrested and charged with theft, it is important to stay calm and politely exercise your right to remain silent and ask to speak to a lawyer. While you can provide basic details such as your name, date of birth, and address, the most important concern at this stage is to ensure you do not say anything that could be used against you as evidence later on.
It is vital to seek legal representation from the outset to protect your legal rights and allow your lawyer to intervene as soon as possible. Depending on your circumstances, appointing our theft crimes lawyer could help you avoid charges altogether or negotiate reduced bail, charges, or sentences.
Penalties for a Theft Conviction Vary and Depend On Several Factors
There are two main definitions of theft in Pennsylvania. The first is referred to as ‘moveable property,’ which can be physically moved, such as electronics, jewelry, or vehicles. ‘Immovable property refers to assets at a fixed location, such as residential or commercial real estate. However, property such as stock ownership or financial assets also falls within this category.
Penalties for charges vary depending on the circumstances of the crime and the value of items involved. Generally, as the value amount of property involved increases, so do the consequences of a conviction.
Thefts are broken down into misdemeanors and felonies based on the value of the property involved, summarized below:
- Less than $50 – third-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and a jail sentence of up to a year
- $50 – $200 – second-degree misdemeanor, punished with a fine of up to $5000 and up to two years in prison
- $200 – $2000 – first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and up to five years in prison
- $2000 – $500,000 – third-degree felony, punished with a fine of up to $15,000 and a jail sentence of up to seven years
First and Second Degree Felony Charges
Second-degree felonies apply if the stolen property was a firearm, if the property value ranges from $100,000 to $500,000, or if the offense was committed during a natural disaster. Convictions carry a maximum imprisonment of ten years and a $25,000 fine.
If the prosecution can prove the value of the property involved in the crime exceeds $500,000, or if a person is convicted with the intent of buying and selling stolen firearms, the charge can be elevated to a first-degree felony. This carries a minimum sentence of ten years in prison and a fine of $25,000.
How We Defend Our Clients Against Theft Charges
If you face theft charges at any level, remember you have a right to trial, and the burden of proof rests with the prosecution. Theft, in many cases, is not always clear as the state is required to prove intent. For example, if you paid a fair price for a car and can prove you did not know it was stolen, it is unlikely you would face criminal charges.
Depending on your circumstances, there may be ways to challenge the evidence against you, which could include:
- Mistaken identity due to blurry surveillance video
- Proof that you did pay for or own the item
- Examining the credibility of witness testimony
- Analyzing the prosecution’s evidence against you for weaknesses or inconsistencies
- Defenses based on the value of the items taken
- Defenses based around no intent to steal
- Law enforcement engaged in entrapment
- Theft crimes committed the offense under duress
There are many other strategies for defense in theft crimes. We can assess your case and determine the most appropriate defenses for your situation when you hire us.
Why Choose McKenzie Law Firm, P.C To Defend Your Case?
Ethically, a Law firm cannot claim to be “the best criminal defense lawyer.” Instead, we stand on our own experience, ratings, reviews, and reputation to help our clients, which include:
- Distinguished Top 40 Under 40 recognition by the American Society of Legal Advocates
- AVVO’s highest rating of 10.0 Superb
- The 10 Best Award in Client Satisfaction for the American Institute of DUI/DWI Attorneys
- Rising Stars Super Lawyers Recognition
- Over 300 reviews averaging five stars