If you have been accused or are being investigated for taking property that belongs to someone else, please seek legal assistance as soon as possible. Theft charges come with hefty penalties and a criminal record that can follow you for life.
At the SMA Law Group, we want you to know that we understand this is a confusing time and we will work to ensure you are treated fairly. We will investigate all aspects of your case. When you need an theft attorney, contact us today.
Theft Charges Can Seem Complicated
In Pennsylvania, we need to distinguish between a few different kinds of charges. Theft charges differ from retail theft and robbery. Each of those sets of charges are covered under separate codes.
Theft charges in Pennsylvania come in two forms:
- Theft of movable property – this includes taking or exercising control over items that are not yours with the intent to deprive the owner.
- This can include things like jewelry, money, electronics, etc.
- Theft of immovable property includes unlawfully transferring or exercising control over property that is owned by another person with the intent to benefit yourself.
- This includes things like houses, tracts of land, or other real estate.
The penalties for a guilty conviction of theft charges depend on the value of the property that was taken and they range from misdemeanor offenses to felony charges:
The penalties a person could face for theft vary depending on the value of the property taken and range from misdemeanor charges to felony charges.
- Less than $50
- Third-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year of incarceration
- Fine up to $2,500.
- $200 to $50
- Second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison
- Fine up to $5,000.
- $2,000 to $200
- First-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to five years in prison
- Fine up to $10,000.
- More than $2,000
- Third-degree felony punishable by up to seven years in prison
- Fine up to $15,000.
If a theft occurs during a natural disaster or major man-made disaster, or if a firearm was stolen, the penalties become much more severe – a second-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $25,000.
A guilty conviction will leave a permanent mark on your criminal record that could affect your ability to find work, volunteer anywhere, go to school, or get a scholarship.
Your Next Steps
We know that facing theft charges can seem daunting, but you do have options. Please do not speak with law enforcement or prosecutors until you secure legal assistance. At the SMA Law Group, we will get to work immediately on building a defense around you.