You can go to jail for employee theft in Pennsylvania. Depending on the offense, you could face fines and other penalties if convicted. If you’re facing an employee theft charge in Pennsylvania, you should consider partnering with a lawyer. They can craft a defense that seeks a “not guilty” verdict.
What Constitutes Employee Theft in Pennsylvania?
Instances of employee theft range from one-time instances to theft over several years. Examples include:
- Stealing money from the cash register or tip jar
- Overcharging customers and then keeping the difference
- Stealing merchandise or other items from a business
- Timecard fraud
- Data theft (such as stealing a confidential list of clients from a company)
- Theft of services
This is not an exhaustive list. If you’re facing employee theft charges in Pennsylvania, this is no small matter; you should consider partnering with a criminal defense attorney.
What Are the Exact Jail Times for Employee Theft?
Employee theft charges range from third-degree misdemeanors to first-degree felonies in Pennsylvania. The penalties generally depend on the total value of the money or property allegedly stolen.
Here are some charges and penalties you could face if convicted:
- Third-degree misdemeanor: This is a crime involving employee theft valuing less than $50, with a prison sentence of up to a year.
- Second-degree misdemeanor: An employee could face this charge if they stole over $50 but less than $200. They may also serve up to two years in prison if found guilty.
- First-degree misdemeanor: An employee could be charged with this crime if the stolen item values between $200 and $1,999. If convicted, they could be sentenced up to five years in jail.
- Third-degree felony: This charge applies to items valued over $2,000. It also applies to employee theft involving vehicles or reselling stolen goods. This has a maximum seven-year sentence.
- Second-degree felony: Employees who steal $100,000 to $500,000 (or a firearm) may be charged with a second-degree felony. They could also face charges if they steal from their employer during a disaster (for example, looting the establishment after a storm). A conviction could result in a 10-year sentence.
- First-degree felony: This felony applies to employee theft exceeding $500,000 and the reselling of stolen firearms. This could get you 10 to 20 years of jail time.
What if You Face Other Charges Besides Employee Theft?
If an employee faces one or more criminal charges related to the theft, it could affect their total imprisonment time. For example, let us say that your employer also accused you of forgery. This could add to your possible jail sentence and result in hefty fines.
Will You Also Face Fines When Convicted of Employee Theft?
Besides sentencing you to prison, the court may also order you to pay fines. The amount you must pay will depend on the severity of your charges. The court may also consider your criminal history when rendering a verdict.
Consider the following:
- Third-degree misdemeanors could get you a fine of up to $2,500.
- Second-degree misdemeanors have fines reaching $5,000.
- For first-degree misdemeanors, offenders may have to pay up to $10,000 in fines.
- Third-degree felony convictions may have a fine of up to $15,000.
- Both first and second-degree felonies could result in a maximum fee of $25,000.
If you can’t pay the fine imposed by the state, this could add to your possible jail sentence.
An Employee Theft Conviction Could Affect Your Future
A conviction for employee theft could result in more than jail time and fines; it could also:
- Affect your employment prospects. A conviction of employment theft will show up on a background check. This may discourage future employers from hiring you.
- Prevent you from applying for housing. If you’re convicted of a felony, some communities may look down on your housing application.
- Jeopardize your custodial arrangement. If you’re going through a divorce and want custody of your children, the courts may consider your previous convictions.
- Affect your future. Jail time takes away your freedom. This would prevent you from spending time with your family, advancing your career, and doing things you enjoy.
You do not have to face an employee theft charge on your own. You have the right to partner with a criminal defense attorney who can advocate for your rights. They can review the evidence against you, create a defense strategy, and fight for the best possible outcome.
Discuss Your Case with Us Today
If your employer accuses you of stealing, consult the office of McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. Our theft crime lawyers will review your situation to help form your defense.
Since 2010, our team has defended clients with criminal cases throughout Pennsylvania. Besides theft crimes, our practice areas also include DUIs, traffic crimes, and drug crimes. Our legal support team is available 24/7. We offer free case reviews where you can explore your options with our team.