criminal defense law firm philadelphia

Common Criminal Offenses in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is one of the largest cities in America. A common occurrence in many big cities is criminal activity. Pennsylvania has some of the strictest penalties for criminal acts. If you get arrested in Philadelphia, you will want to know if it was a felony or misdemeanor right away. Whether you are guilty or not, it’ll be in your best interest to hire a criminal defense attorney to help your case.

According to crime statistics from the FBI, property crimes and violent crimes are some of the more common types of crimes happening in the city. Below are some of the top types of criminal offenses occurring in the city of Philadelphia.


According to Pennsylvania statutes, homicide is divided into three separate categories. Murder in the first degree is the more serious of the three. This crime is committed when someone intentionally makes plans to kill someone else. Murder in the second degree is when it is done unintentionally, but they were the primary accomplice or actor. Every other type of homicide falls into the third category of murder in the third degree.


Those convicted of rape will be charged with a first-degree felony. Rape can happen in numerous ways including:

•By force
•Having sexual relations with someone who is unconscious
•Threatening to use force in order to have sex
•The use of alcohol, drugs or other types of intoxicants to prevent a victim from resisting
•Having sexual intercourse with an individual who is mentally disabled


A person in Philadelphia may be arrested for a robbery if they have committed theft and caused serious injury to a victim. In order to be charged with this offense, the amount of force necessary to steal someone’s property doesn’t need to be excessive. Robberies can fall under different types of crime based on the elements involved. A reputable criminal defense attorney can help you understand the differences.


A burglary offense is committed when a criminal enters a building with the intent to commit a crime. The building can be occupied or unoccupied for the offense to stick. The penalties received for this type of crime are set according to the circumstances during the act. However, most burglaries are considered first-degree felonies.

Vehicle Theft

If you steal a motor vehicle from someone who is driving or in front of the owner, you may be charged for that crime with a first-degree felony. If the owner of the vehicle is not present during the theft, you may only be charged with a third-degree felony.

The penalties for these common criminal offenses in Philadelphia will vary depending on the type of crime and circumstances surrounding it. No matter what type of crime you have committed, it is important to obtain a reputable criminal defense attorney to work with you on your case. While all these crimes are considered felonies, it is important for people to take note that the state of Pennsylvania will also impose harsh penalties for people who commit misdemeanors. Some criminals convicted for first-degree misdemeanors may serve years in prison.