Pennsylvania theft charges can lead to serious penalties that can follow you for the rest of your life. The more severe the charge, the worse the consequences. Pennsylvania classifies these offenses into several levels of felony and misdemeanor charges based on the amount allegedly stolen and any aggravating circumstances.
If you are facing theft charges, a theft crime lawyer in Montgomery County can help. McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. fights for the rights of those accused of crimes in Montgomery County. The initial case evaluation is free with no risk or obligation.
Theft Charges in Pennsylvania
Under Pennsylvania law, theft can range anywhere from a third-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree felony. Our firm handles all types of theft charges, including:
Pennsylvania defines any theft in which the amount involved was less than $50 as a third-degree misdemeanor.
Pennsylvania defines any theft in which the amount involved was $50 or more but less than $200 as a second-degree misdemeanor.
Theft of items valued at more than $200 but less than $2,000, and that does not meet any other criteria of a felony, is a first-degree misdemeanor in Pennsylvania.
A theft in Pennsylvania is a third-degree felony if:
- It involves property worth more than $2,000
- It involves a motorized vehicle (e.g., a car, motorcycle, or boat)
- The perpetrator is in the business of reselling stolen property
A theft in Pennsylvania is a second-degree felony if:
- It involves property worth more than $100,000 but less than $500,000
- It occurs during a natural or man-made disaster (i.e., looting)
- It involves a firearm
- It involves knowingly receiving a stolen firearm
- It involves anhydrous ammonia
A theft in Pennsylvania is a first-degree felony if:
- It involves property worth more than $500,000
- It involves a firearm, and the perpetrator is in the business of buying and selling stolen firearms
No matter what class of theft charge you are facing, David McKenzie can build a defense and help you move past these charges.
The Penalties for a Theft Conviction in Pennsylvania
The possible penalties for a theft conviction in Pennsylvania can vary significantly. They depend on a couple of factors. The value of the property you are charged with stealing and the nature of the crime itself are the two primary factors.
On the minor end of the spectrum, a third-degree misdemeanor conviction for stealing $50 or less may result in one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. For third-degree felony theft, you could face up to seven years in jail, even if it is your first offense.
Regardless of the charge, the long-term consequences of a conviction can be as daunting as the prospect of jail or a hefty fine. A criminal conviction for theft may stay on your record for the rest of your life. This can impact your ability to:
- Pass a background check for a job
- Rent or purchase an apartment or a house
- Move into a neighborhood with a homeowners’ association
- Register to vote
- Purchase a firearm
- Join the military
- Obtain a student loan
At McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., our job is not only to help you avoid jail time and other immediate consequences but to minimize the long-term damage to your future.
Our Firm Can Help You With Any Theft Charge
Theft charges do not always include outright stealing, such as purse snatching.
The state categorizes theft into different classes, which include:
- Theft by deception: Taking someone else’s property through trickery or deception.
- Theft by extortion: Taking someone else’s property through threats or intimidation.
- Theft of lost property: Finding something of value (e.g., a Rolex on the sidewalk) and keeping it rather than turning it in or trying to find its rightful owner.
- Theft of services: Illegally obtaining paid services for free (e.g., stealing cable).
If you have been accused of anything listed above, or any other type of theft, McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. wants to help.
Why Choose David McKenzie for Your Theft Crime Case in Montgomery County?
We are prepared to handle every aspect of your case. With multiple options for criminal defense lawyers in Montgomery County, you may choose David McKenzie and his team because:
- McKenzie is a former prosecutor: Not every criminal defense attorney knows how prosecutors think, why they’re motivated to settle, and what a case is like through the eyes of a prosecutor. David McKenzie does. He is a former criminal prosecutor who now fights for those accused of crimes like theft. We’ve found that clients value this unique experience.
- We are honest about your case: There is no sense in deceiving a client. Once we review the evidence and facts in your case, we’ll provide an honest evaluation of your circumstances. While you will make the final call on how we resolve your case, we will make recommendations based on the evidence.
- Criminal defense is our focus: Some law firms handle a variety of practice areas. McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. focuses solely on criminal defense. Our team focuses on issues of criminal defense day-in and day-out. We’re up on the latest legal developments, and theft crimes are one of our primary practice areas.
Effective representation is also about client service. Once you hire us as your lawyers, you will be able to reach us any time that you need us—via email, phone, text message, or another medium that you prefer. We know how stressful criminal cases can be, and our team will be available to answer your questions and address your concerns.
Services That We Provide Clients Facing Theft Charges in Montgomery County
Those who we represent in theft cases should expect us to:
- Gather all the relevant details of their case: We must know what you’re accused of to put forth a capable defense. We will obtain police reports, evidence for and against you, witness testimony, and other facts. Once we gain a full understanding of your circumstances, we will settle upon a case strategy.
- Develop a detailed case strategy: We will enter your case with a clear mission. Our team will have a strategy for addressing specific evidence, questioning witnesses, and dealing with the prosecution. We will also discuss with you whether seeking a dismissal or fair plea deal makes the most sense.
- Advise you on how to act: Protecting you will be our primary goal as your attorney. There are things you should and should not do when facing theft charges. Our team will provide you a blueprint for how to act, and will be available if you have any questions during the legal process.
- Handle all case-related negotiations: The prosecution may approach us about resolving your case through a plea bargain. If appropriate, we may approach them. Our team, led by David McKenzie, will handle any settlement discussions that take place. We will inform you of the results of these discussions, and involve you in any case-altering decisions.
By hiring us, you can focus on your well-being during this stressful time.
McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. Can Build a Defense Against Your Theft Charge
Montgomery County criminal defense attorney David McKenzie has a successful track record of getting theft charges reduced or dropped for his clients. We have many tactics we may be able to apply to your defense. We will tailor our defense to your specific circumstances.
Some defenses we may use in your case include:
- You intended to return the property to its rightful owner
- You did not knowingly take property that did not belong to you
- Law enforcement engaged in entrapment
- You committed the offense under duress
This list is not exhaustive. We will craft a defense for you based on the information we find when investigating your case.