Theft is one of the most common crimes committed today. However, Pennsylvania theft criminal charges are not “one size fits all.”
Different types of theft come with varying degrees of severity and consequences. If you have been arrested for theft in Pennsylvania, we are here to help. With over 44 years of experience, The Law Offices of A. Charles Peruto, Jr. will help build a solid defense for your case. Contact our office to schedule a free and confidential case review. Call us today at 215-735-1010
Philadelphia, PA Theft Offenses:
In Pennsylvania, theft charges encompass a variety of offenses based on the circumstances and the value of the property involved. Here are some common types of theft charges in Pennsylvania:
- Retail Theft: This charge involves stealing merchandise or property from a retail store. Retail theft charges can vary based on the value of the items stolen and whether the offender has previous retail theft convictions.
- Theft by Unlawful Taking: This is a general theft charge, which includes taking someone else’s property without their consent. The degree of the charge depends on the value of the stolen property.
- Theft by Deception: This charge involves obtaining property or services through deception or false pretenses. It can apply to various situations where deception is used to commit theft.
- Theft by Extortion: Extortion is a crime where someone obtains property, services, or other things of value from another person through threats or coercion.
- Theft of Services: This charge relates to stealing services rather than physical property. For example, avoiding payment for services rendered, such as dining and dashing at a restaurant, can lead to a theft of services charge.
- Receiving Stolen Property: This charge applies to individuals who knowingly receive or possess property they know has been stolen. It can result in criminal charges even if the person did not commit the actual theft.
- Auto Theft (Theft of a Motor Vehicle): This charge involves the unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, including cars, motorcycles, and other vehicles.
- Theft from a Motor Vehicle: Stealing items from a parked vehicle can lead to theft charges.
- Burglary: Burglary involves entering a building or structure with the intent to commit theft or other crimes. The degree of the charge may depend on whether it’s a home invasion or the type of structure entered.
- Robbery: Robbery involves theft while using force or intimidation against the victim. It is considered a violent crime and is typically charged as a felony.
- Embezzlement: Embezzlement is a form of theft where someone misappropriates funds or property that has been entrusted to them, often in a position of trust or responsibility.
The specific charge and its severity will depend on factors like the value of the property involved, the presence of violence or threats, and the defendant’s prior criminal record. Penalties for theft charges in Pennsylvania can range from fines to imprisonment, and they may vary based on the degree of the offense. Consulting with an attorney who specializes in criminal defense is essential if you are facing theft charges to understand your specific situation and legal options.
Philadelphia, PA Theft Charges
Theft charges in Pennsylvania are categorized into degrees based on the value of the property stolen and the circumstances surrounding the theft. The degrees are as follows:
- First-Degree Felony: Theft of property valued at $500,000 or more, or theft during which the offender causes bodily injury or uses a deadly weapon.
- Second-Degree Felony: Theft of property valued at $100,000 or more, but less than $500,000, or theft during which the offender is a public servant.
- Third-Degree Felony: Theft of property valued at $2,000 or more but less than $100,000.
- Misdemeanor 1: Theft of property valued at $1,000 or more but less than $2,000, theft of a firearm, or theft during which the offender received stolen property valued at $2,000 or more but less than $100,000.
- Misdemeanor 2: Theft of property valued at $200 or more but less than $1,000, theft during which the offender received stolen property valued at $200 or more but less than $2,000.
- Misdemeanor 3: Theft of property valued at less than $200 or theft of property valued at less than $1,000 if the property is taken from a retail store.
Keep in mind that these are general guidelines, and the specific elements and penalties for theft charges in Pennsylvania may vary based on the circumstances of the case and the defendant’s criminal history. Additionally, theft offenses can have consequences beyond criminal penalties, including civil liability and a permanent criminal record.
Consequences of Theft Convictions
Being convicted of a theft crime in Pennsylvania carries serious penalties. Depending on the nature and severity of the theft, one might face:
- Restitution (paying back the victim)
- Community service
- Probation or parole
Additionally, a theft conviction on your record can have lasting consequences on your personal and professional life, including difficulties in finding employment and potential social stigma.
Long-Term Impact of a Theft Conviction
As mentioned, the immediate consequences of a theft conviction are not the only ones you will experience. Long-term consequences include the following:
One of the most immediate and tangible impacts of a theft conviction is the difficulty securing employment. Many employers conduct background checks, and a theft conviction can be a red flag, indicating potential trustworthiness issues. Positions in finance, retail, or any role involving handling money or sensitive information may be especially challenging to attain with such a conviction on one’s record.
Landlords and property management companies often screen potential tenants for criminal histories. A theft conviction can raise concerns about the individual’s reliability and integrity, potentially leading to denied rental applications. This can limit housing options and force individuals to seek alternative, often less desirable, living arrangements.
Loan and Credit Obstacles
Financial institutions view those with theft convictions as high-risk applicants. This can lead to denied loan applications or higher interest rates. Whether seeking a mortgage, car loan, or credit card, a theft conviction can hinder one’s financial flexibility.
Social and Personal Repercussions
Beyond the tangible consequences, a theft conviction can carry a lasting stigma. Personal relationships might strain as trust is questioned. Socially, individuals may face judgment or exclusion, leading to feelings of isolation or shame. The emotional and psychological toll can be as profound as the more visible repercussions.
Why A. Charles Peruto, Jr. should be your first choice in defense
If you or someone you know is facing theft charges in Pennsylvania, having a knowledgeable and committed defense attorney by your side is vital. With over 44 years of criminal defense experience in New Jersey, Attorney A. Charles Peruto, Jr. has the expertise, dedication and tailored approach you need to successfully handle your case.
Mr. Peruto’s extensive track record demonstrates his relentless dedication and specialized expertise in successfully defending clients. When you choose A. Charles Peruto, you are not just hiring an attorney, but securing a steadfast advocate who will fight tirelessly to uphold your rights and work towards your freedom.
If you are currently facing theft charges in Pennsylvania, contact the Law Offices of A. Charles Peruto Jr. to schedule a free and confidential case review. Call us today at 215-735-1010