Pennsylvania Theft and Larceny Crime Laws You Should Know About

Thief stealing wallet

Understanding the intricacies of Pennsylvania’s theft and larceny laws is crucial, especially if you find yourself entangled in a legal situation involving these offenses. Theft, commonly understood as the unlawful taking of another’s property, can range from minor shoplifting to major burglary. In Pennsylvania, the legal system classifies and penalizes these crimes based on various factors, including the value of the stolen property and the circumstances of the crime.

At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C. (RGSG), our aim is not just to offer legal representation but also to empower you with knowledge. Knowing the basics of these laws can significantly impact how you navigate through potential legal challenges. Our talented team of attorneys is dedicated to ensuring that your rights are protected, and we are here to offer guidance and support throughout the legal process.

Understanding Theft and Larceny in Pennsylvania

Theft in Pennsylvania is defined as the unlawful taking of property with the intent to deprive the owner of it permanently. This broad definition encompasses various forms of theft, including shoplifting, burglary, and auto theft. The severity of the charge often depends on the value of the property stolen. For example, stealing property worth less than $50 is usually considered a summary offense, which is the least serious type of criminal charge in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania law also distinguishes between movable and immovable property. Movable property includes items like electronics, vehicles, and personal belongings, while immovable property refers to land and things attached to it, like buildings. The distinction is important because the penalties for stealing immovable property can be more severe.

Another key aspect of Pennsylvania’s theft laws is the concept of receiving stolen property. If you knowingly buy, receive, or possess items that you know or have reason to believe are stolen, you could face charges similar to those for theft.

Different Types of Theft Charges and Their Consequences

The consequences of a theft charge in Pennsylvania vary based on the value and nature of the stolen property. Theft of property valued at more than $2,000, or theft involving a motor vehicle, regardless of its value, is considered a felony of the third degree. This can lead to more severe penalties, including imprisonment and hefty fines.

On the other hand, theft of property valued between $200 and $2,000 is classified as a misdemeanor of the first degree. This still carries significant penalties but is less severe than a felony. For property valued under $200, the charges are usually a misdemeanor of the second or third degree, depending on specific circumstances.

In addition to these classifications, Pennsylvania recognizes retail theft, commonly known as shoplifting, as a separate offense. Shoplifting penalties can escalate with repeated offenses, moving from a summary offense for first-time offenders to a felony for third-time offenders or if the value of the merchandise exceeds $1,000.

Exploring Legal Defenses in Theft Cases

In legal proceedings involving theft charges, several defenses may be applicable. Claiming a lack of intent to steal, mistaken identity, or rightful ownership can be effective defenses. Additionally, the concept of consent, where the accused believed they had permission to take the property, can also be a valid defense.

It is important to note that each case is unique, and the effectiveness of a defense strategy depends on the specific circumstances of the case. This is where the expertise of a seasoned legal team becomes invaluable. At RGSG, we meticulously analyze every aspect of your case to develop a robust defense strategy tailored to your specific situation.

Why Choose Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford for Your Theft Case?

Facing theft charges in Pennsylvania can be daunting, but you do not have to navigate the legal system alone. RGSG offers a unique combination of experience, skill, and a client-centered approach, making us a wise choice for anyone dealing with theft or larceny charges. Our talented attorneys bring together a wealth of knowledge and experience in Pennsylvania’s criminal law, providing you with the best possible defense.

We understand the stress and uncertainty that come with legal challenges. That is why we focus on clear communication, offering compassionate yet straightforward guidance every step of the way. By choosing RGSG, you benefit from a team that not only defends your legal rights but also genuinely cares about your well-being and future. If you are facing theft or larceny charges in Pennsylvania, do not hesitate to reach out to us. You can contact us at (215) 822-7575 or visit our contact form. Let us help you navigate the complexities of the law and work towards a favorable outcome in your case.