Theft

Close-up of a man trying to break into a car with a screwdriver

Lawyers for Theft Charges In Pennsylvania

If you’ve been charged with theft in Pennsylvania, it’s important to find a criminal defense lawyer who can help protect your rights. At Gross McGinley, LLP, our defense lawyers have a broad range of experience and knowledge of criminal law in Pennsylvania. We believe anyone facing criminal charges deserves a competent defense without judgment. Our team is dedicated to working toward the best possible outcome for our clients.

What to know about theft charges:

What are the different types of theft in PA?

Which crimes are classified as theft?

Will I face misdemeanor or felony charges for a crime involving theft?

What are the penalties for being convicted of a theft crime?

What are some potential defenses for theft crimes?

How can the criminal defense lawyers at Gross McGinley, LLP, help with my case? 

     

 

Types of Theft Charges In PA

In Pennsylvania, crimes that involve stealing fall into three broad categories: theft, burglary, and robbery. Whether an offense is charged as a misdemeanor or felony depends on the specific circumstances.

  • Theft – When someone takes another person’s property without the owner’s consent or authorization, this may be considered theft in Pennsylvania. You also may face theft charges if you receive stolen property and have no intention of returning it to the owner.
  • Robbery – If a person uses force or intimidation to deprive someone of their property, they may be charged with robbery.
  • Burglary – Entering a home, business, or any other building to commit a crime is considered burglary in Pennsylvania. You don’t necessarily need to commit a theft or robbery to be charged with burglary.

Our criminal defense lawyers can help you understand the specific charges you’re facing and offer straightforward legal advice you can trust.

     

 

Common Theft Crimes In Pennsylvania

Many different crimes are considered theft in Pennsylvania, including:

  • Retail theft or shoplifting
  • Vehicle theft
  • Theft by deception
  • Receiving stolen property
  • Larceny
  • Forgery
  • Fraud
  • Identity theft
  • Extortion
  • Embezzlement
  • Unlawful taking of property
  • Theft of services
  • Theft of intellectual property, such as a patent, copyright, or trademark
  • Theft of trade secrets
  • Theft of services
  • Robbery
  • Burglary

Our criminal defense team includes former prosecutors who offer a unique perspective in these cases. At Gross McGinley, LLP, our lawyers work collaboratively to develop effective defense strategies in all types of theft crime cases.

     

 

How Are Theft Crimes Charged in PA?

Theft may be charged as a misdemeanor or felony in Pennsylvania. The specific type of charge you may face depends on the value and type of property that was stolen, whether you used threats or violence to commit the theft, and your criminal history.

Misdemeanor Theft Charges

If the value of the stolen property was less than $50, you may face a third-degree misdemeanor charge. If it was between $50 and $100, it could be charged as a second-degree misdemeanor. For crimes involving property worth between $200 and $2,000, you may be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor.

Felony Theft Charges

Felony charges are more serious and come with harsher penalties. When the value of the property is between $2,001 and $99,999, it may be charged as a third-degree felony. Second-degree felony theft involves property worth $100,000 to $499,000, and first-degree felony theft involves property valued at $500,000 or more.

Burglary, robbery, and theft committed during a natural disaster typically are charged as felonies. It’s important to understand that even a white-collar crime such as embezzlement could be charged as a felony. Regardless of the type of charges you’re facing, having an experienced criminal defense lawyer by your side is crucial for protecting your rights.

     

 

Penalties For Pennsylvania Theft Crimes

Penalties for theft crimes vary and increase significantly if firearms and threats of violence or assault are involved. Penalties for misdemeanor convictions may result in one to five years in jail and fines up to $10,000. Third- and second-degree felony convictions can come with penalties of seven to 10 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. A first-degree felony conviction can carry penalties of up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $25,000. The court also may order defendants to pay restitution to victims of theft.

Being convicted of theft can ruin your reputation and opportunities for employment, housing, and education. It also can have an impact on child custody issues, immigration status, finances, and myriad aspects of your life.

Because penalties and sentencing for theft crimes vary significantly, it’s vital to hire experienced defense lawyers who possess extensive knowledge of state and federal law. Our team at Gross McGinley, LLP, ensures your rights are preserved and helps you to navigate the criminal justice system throughout the process.

     

 

Potential Defenses In Theft Cases

Although the defenses employed depend on the specifics of each theft case, some common defenses include:

  • Lack of criminal intent to commit theft
  • Mistaken identity
  • Mistake of fact, which means you committed a crime unintentionally
  • The property was abandoned or lost by its owner
  • You had permission to possess the property
  • You acted under duress
  • Entrapment
  • Unlawful search and seizure
  • Chain of custody issues

Raising mitigating issues such as suppression, unreliable witnesses, police misconduct, or denial of criminal intent can be essential elements of a defense. Our lawyers use their wide range of knowledge of criminal law to develop effective defenses in theft crime cases. We thoroughly evaluate your case, examine the evidence, and plan a strategic defense. We also can advise you on whether a plea agreement may be a viable option for your specific circumstances and negotiate with prosecutors on your behalf.

     

 

Why Choose Our PA Criminal Defense Lawyers?

At Gross McGinley, LLP, our criminal defense lawyers understand what’s on the line when you’re charged with a crime. A theft conviction can seriously impact your career, community reputation, and future. If you or someone you know is facing a theft charge, our experienced criminal defense lawyers based in Allentown, PA, can help. We have successfully defended clients in bench and jury trials involving all types of theft crimes. We care about our clients, and our values of serving you with integrity, compassion, and respect are at the core of everything we do.

Contact Our Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you’ve been charged with a theft crime, you need an experienced, compassionate defense lawyer by your side. For more than 40 years, Gross McGinley, LLP, has provided forward-thinking legal representation to clients throughout Pennsylvania. Contact us online or call 610-820-5450 to schedule a consultation.

Theft Team

View Profile Gross McGinley Allentown Law Firm Attorney Michael J. Blum

Michael J. Blum

Senior Counsel
View Profile Gross McGinley Allentown Law Firm Attorney Robert M. Campbell

Robert M. Campbell

Associate
View Profile Gross McGinley Allentown Law Firm Sara Hart Charette

Sarah Hart Charette

Partner
View Profile Lehigh Valley criminal defense lawyer Philip Lauer

Philip D. Lauer

Partner
View Profile

Sara Moyer

Associate
View Profile Gross McGinley Allentown Law Firm Attorney Constance K. Nelson

Constance K. Nelson

Senior Counsel

Frequently Asked Questions

Gross McGinley is a full-service law firm, providing legal guidance for both personal and professional needs. Please visit our services page to learn more!

Since 1976, we’ve been serving individuals, businesses, and communities through the greater Lehigh Valley. Learn more about us.

Group legal insurance plans are fast-growing employer benefits. Several employers have established relationships with Gross McGinley – simply inquire about your specific legal plan to see if yours is accepted.

Yes, Gross McGinley accepts credit card payments via our website, over the phone, or in-person. Our Billing team will provide you with assistance in making a payment.   

Our firm accommodates in-person meetings and virtual appointments. Please advise of your communication preferences when you speak with your attorney.

Certain services, like document signings and notarizations, may require your in-person presence.

    Have questions? Need to speak to someone about your legal needs? We're here to help.





    I agree to receive electronic marketing communications from Gross McGinley, LLP.