Being accused of taking another person’s property is something that needs to be taken seriously. Theft charges come with a range of penalties, all of which could have long-lasting consequences and leave you with a criminal record.
At SMT Legal, we understand the complexities of these cases and are ready to step in and help you. We understand that people make mistakes, but do not believe that should ruin their lives. We also understand that there are times when people should not even be facing theft charges. If you need a theft lawyer, call us today.
What Kind Of Theft Charges Are There?
In Pennsylvania, there are two types of theft charges: theft by unlawful taking of movable property and theft by unlawful taking of immovable property.
- Theft of movable property 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 another real estate.
*It is important to note that retail theft is different than theft in Pennsylvania. Taking items from a store (shoplifting) is covered under separate offenses. Theft charges, or unlawful taking, deal with incidents against another person.
What Are The Penalties?
- Less than $50 : third-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year of incarceration and a fine up to $2,500.
- $50 to $200 : second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison and a fine up to $5,000.
- $200 to $2, 000 : first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
- More than $2,000 : third-degree felony punishable by up to seven years in prison and a fine up to $15,000.
*If the theft happened during a natural disaster or major man-made disaster, or if a firearm was stolen, the crime could become a second-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $25,000.
A conviction of theft will leave you with a permanent record that will show up during background checks, adversely affecting your ability to get a job, attend school, or volunteer.