criminal defense attorneys philly

The Different Variations of Theft

criminal defense attorneys phillyTheft is a crime where sentences differ depending on the charge. Sometimes, theft is referred to as larceny, and this crime occurs when property is taken and carried away without permission. Statutes have been set that establish different types of theft crimes, most of which are classified in either the petty theft category or grand theft category. When you’ve been charged with theft, you need an experienced defense attorney in Philadelphia to help lessen the charges or even get the charges dropped.

What’s the difference between petty theft and grand theft?

When you’re charged with petty theft, that involves taking property that is valued at under $950. Any theft, from a single cent up to $950, can be charged as a petty misdemeanor theft, carrying up to six months in jail and up to $1,000 fine.

Grand theft, on the other hand, is taking property that is valued at over $950. Depending on the charge and the valuation, grand theft can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, carrying up to three years in state prison for felony offenses or up to a year in county jail for a misdemeanor. There are some exceptions to valuation, such as when taking property of agricultural products and certain livestock that carries a felony. Additionally, theft directly from a person such as pickpocketing or stealing by means other than force or fear is grand theft. Finally, theft of an automobile of any amount or a firearm of any amount will always result in felony theft charges.

Retail Theft in Pennsylvania: Shoplifting

Outside of petty theft or grand theft, certain laws are set out for shoplifting or retail theft. This is when a person takes an item from a store without paying for the item. Shoplifting is a serious charge, and can have a tremendous impact on your future. If you’ve been charged with shoplifting in Pennsylvania, contact one of the most experienced criminal law firms in Philadelphia to represent your case.

With a shoplifting charge, you may be fortunate to be punished with probation or community service, but jail is also an option. In Pennsylvania, shoplifting can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor, and for the three charges related to a misdemeanor shoplifting offense, jail time could be in your future.

  • Misdemeanor 1 Shoplifting – the value of stolen goods is more than $200. A conviction carries a maximum penalty of five years in jail.
  • Misdemeanor 2 Shoplifting – when value of stolen goods is over $50. A conviction can result in up to three years in jail.
  • Misdemeanor 3 Shoplifting – when value of stolen goods is less than $50. A conviction carries a maximum penalty of up to one year in jail.

Felony retail theft charges occur when items stolen were valued at over $2,000. A felony charge faces up to seven years in jail, and felonies involve the use of a deadly weapon. Whether or not you will serve jail time depends on a few factors, including if you have a previous record and the representation you have for your defense.

When you’re charged with theft, whether retail theft, petty theft, or a felony theft, you need an experienced attorney on your side to give you the best representation. Consult with an attorney at The Law Offices of Richard J. Fuschino, Jr. and see how we can help defend your case.