From an early age, we are taught that stealing is fundamentally wrong. You should never take something that is not yours. However, mistakes happen and sometimes you may be in the position of being accused of theft. Even if you didn’t physically take anything that was not yours, there are many illegal forms of theft in Pennsylvania, such as copyright infringement, writing a bad check, forgery, or receiving stolen property. Theft of any degree is a serious accusation and could lead to severe penalties if you are charged.
If you or a loved one were recently charged with theft, you should contact a theft attorney as soon as possible. penalties for theft in Pennsylvania are severe: ranging from a scaled misdemeanor to a felony of the first degree. With so much on the line, you should only put your trust in an experienced attorney with a history of success. Attorneys at Stewart, Murray, and Associates (SMA) Law Group have experience dealing with a range of theft charges, as well as a method of success based on a blend of aggressive defense and compassionate understanding.
Pennsylvania Theft Crimes
In Pennsylvania, there are a variety of ways you can be accused and charged with a theft crime. Some common theft crimes include unlawful taking, deception, writing bad checks, burglary, copyright and intellectual theft, and forgery.
Unlawful taking includes taking property owned by somebody else. This includes taking valuables, which are known as “moveable property.” You can also be charged with unlawful taking if you steal “immoveable property.” Immoveable property includes a house, factory, or any fixed object that cannot be physically moved.
You can be charged with a theft crime by deception. Generally, this means that you came into possession of a service or property by deceiving the rightful owner. You can also receive a theft crime charge by knowingly acquiring stolen property, even if you were not the one to steal the property.
Retail theft is a theft crime that can result in a variety of consequences depending on what you stole. penalties range from a summary offense to a misdemeanor of the first degree. You do not need to physically take an item to be charged with retail theft. Switching or removing tags can result in retail theft.
Burglary is one of the most well-known and serious forms of theft crimes. Burglary can be charged by entering a property unlawfully in order to commit a crime. Depending on the nature of the incident, you can receive a felony of the first or second degree.
Other forms of theft crimes that do not involve physically stealing is writing a bad check, committing forgery, or performing intellectual theft. Intellectual theft occurs when you profit off of somebody else’s intellectual property. Forgery and writing bad checks involve trying to profit or spend money unlawfully through deception.