Attorney For Theft Defense
In Pennsylvania, “Theft” refers to various forms of stealing. Theft by Deception, Theft by Unlawful Taking, Burglary, Bad Checks, Theft by Receiving Stolen Property and Theft of Services are all examples of Theft charges.
Generally, the severity of a theft charge is directly related to the value of the item that was allegedly taken. The more valuable the item, the more severe the possible consequences.
Theft offenses are typically graded as follows:
- Theft less than $50 is a 3rd Degree Misdemeanors: punishable for up to one year in prison and a $2,500 fine;
- Theft between $50 and $199 is a 2nd Degree Misdemeanor: punishable for up to two years in prison and $5,000 fine;
- Theft between $200 and $2,000 is a 1st Degree Misdemeanor: punishable for up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine;
- Theft between $2,001 and $99,999 is a 3rd Degree Felony; punishable for up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine;
- Theft between $100,000 and $499,999 is a 2nd Degree Felony; punishable for up to ten years in prison and a $25,000 fine
A prior record of theft may heighten the Theft charge you are facing.
Do I Need an Attorney to Fight my Theft Charge
If you are found guilty of theft, you can face jail time, fines, court costs, and your reputation may be severely damaged. If you go to court alone, there will be a police officer testifying against you and an assistant district attorney prosecuting the case. We believe that an attorney that handles Theft Defense cases fighting for you is the best way to protect your interests. We offer free consultations at our Greensburg, Latrobe, Irwin, and Johnstown offices so that no matter if you decide to hire an attorney or not, you are informed about what options you have.
Do I Have a Defense?
A Theft Charge is a fact specific charge. For that reason, there may be fact specific defenses that you may raise such as you had permission to be in control of the property, wrongful identification, you did not intend to deprive the property from someone else, or the value of the item is significantly less than what is being alleged. These defenses can result in acquittals or allow you to plead to a lessor charge. Bononi and Company can evaluate your Theft case to help guide you through your legal defense.
Can I Just Pay the Money Back?
Paying the money back does not guarantee that the Theft Charges will be dropped. An element of every Theft charge (what the Commonwealth has to prove) is what was your intent at the time of the taking? This means that the crime of Theft was committed when property was taken and the person who took the property intended to keep it at the time of the taking. For that reason, you can be in a position where you paid the money back, but the prosecution is still pursuing charges against you. Before you pay the money back, speak with an attorney that can help protect your interests.
Is “Receiving Stolen Property” a Theft?
It is likely that if you are charged with a Theft by Unlawful Taking, then you will also be charged with Receiving Stolen Property. The difference in the charges is that with a Theft by Unlawful Taking, you are being charged with your intent of illegally dispossessing someone else of their tangible property. With Receiving Stolen Property, you are charged with illegally possessing or accepting someone else’s property that you knew or should have known was stolen. If you are found guilty of both, these offenses usually merge.
Will this be on my Record?
If you are found guilty of Theft, it will remain on your criminal record and be visible in most background checks. Often, clients in the financial industry or who otherwise handle other people’s money during the course of their job are negatively impacted with a Theft on their record. Additionally, Pennsylvania Courts have determined that Theft is a “crime of dishonesty.” That means that if you are ever testifying in court on an unrelated matter, your credibility can be challenged because you were found guilty of Theft.
The Bononi & Company Criminal Defense Team
NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED – Our attorneys have been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers Association and by Super Lawyers
LOCALLY RESPECTED – Our Firm was chosen as one of Westmoreland County’s Best Law Firms by the Tribune Review
PROVEN RESULTS – Marco F. Sylvania, Esquire was selected as a Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (MDAF). The MDAF only extends membership to attorneys who have won a judgment or settled a case in the amount of ONE MILLION DOLLARS or more
Do Not Wait To Contact Us, Free Consultations
Good people sometimes find themselves in tough situations. Whatever Theft offense you are facing, you could be facing fines, incarceration and other penalties. You can trust us to guide you through every step of the criminal process and fight for your best interests. We advocate for our clients from the first interaction with police to closing argument at trial. Trust us to be there for you.
Call the lawyers at Bononi & Company, P.C., today at 724-832-2499 or contact us online. We will be happy to discuss your case in person at our Greensburg office, Latrobe office, Irwin office, or Johnstown office.