Under Pennsylvania law, it is a crime to take another person’s property without their permission. Although all criminal charges should be taken seriously, theft crimes are often considered more insidious than some offenses because they involve deceit. A conviction of a crime involving theft can call into question your moral character. If you are charged with a theft crime, it is wise to speak with a capable attorney to discuss the defenses that you may be able to set forth to protect your rights and reputation. The Scranton theft crime lawyers at Lenahan & Dempsey, P.C., have the skills and experience needed to help you pursue a positive result, and we will work tirelessly on your behalf.Pennsylvania Theft Crimes
Numerous offenses fall under the umbrella of theft crimes in Pennsylvania, ranging from third-degree misdemeanors to first-degree felonies. Generally, the severity of the charge depends on the value of the property that was stolen. One example of a theft crime is theft by unlawful taking. Unlawful taking crimes are divided into crimes in which the defendant takes or exercises control over movable property, such as an electronic device, and crimes involving immovable property, such as a house. The prosecution must show that the defendant had the intent to deprive the owner of the property. Unlawful taking crimes are crimes against a person. They differ from retail theft, which occurs when a person steals property from a business or store.
Not all theft crimes involve physical taking. The theft crime attorneys at our Scranton firm can help fight charges involving more subtle types of theft as well. For example, theft by deception is a common theft crime that involves depriving a person of property by intentionally creating a false impression, failing to correct a false impression, or withholding information that would change his or her mind regarding a transaction. Collecting money for a charity that does not exist may be charged as theft by deception. Embezzlement is another theft crime that involves deceptive acts. This occurs when a person obtains property under an agreement to dispose of the property in a certain manner but fails to do so, and instead treats the property as if it is his or her own. These are just some examples of the theft crimes in Pennsylvania.Potential Defenses in Theft Crime Cases
There are multiple defenses that a person charged with a theft crime may be able to assert. First, as with any criminal charge, the prosecution must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Thus, if a Scranton theft crime attorney can show that the Commonwealth has insufficient evidence to prove each element of a crime, a defendant should be found not guilty. Additionally, many theft crimes require the prosecution to prove that the defendant intentionally or knowingly deprived another person of his or her property. Therefore, if the Commonwealth cannot establish that a person possessed the requisite state of mind, it should not be able to obtain a conviction. In some cases, a person may be able to argue that he or she reasonably believed that he or she had the permission of the property owner to take the property.Consult a Knowledgeable Criminal Defense Attorney
A conviction of a theft crime may result in fines, imprisonment, and a blow to your reputation. If you are charged with theft, you should consult an attorney to discuss the best manner to proceed in your case. The diligent criminal defense attorneys at Lenahan & Dempsey, P.C., will develop a strategy to help you strive for a fair result under the facts of your case. We represent not only people charged with theft crimes but also people charged with an extensive number of other offenses, including fraud, computer crimes, counterfeiting, DUI, gun crimes, domestic violence, drug crimes, and more. Our offices are in Scranton, Tunkhannock, New Berwick, and the Poconos Mountains region, and we represent people in criminal matters throughout Lackawanna, Lycoming, Luzerne, Monroe, Columbia, and Montour Counties. You can call us at 888.536.2426 for a no-obligation discussion with a theft crime lawyer in Scranton regarding the specifics of your case. We also can be reached through our online form.