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Pennsylvania has several theft charges to cover a wide array of conduct. The most basic charge involves a situation where one person takes the property belonging to another person. But, Pennsylvania also considers it to be theft where a person deprives the proper owner of a lost or mislaid item or where you keep an item mistakenly delivered to your home. A theft of services charge can stem from throwing trash into a dumpster without authorization. Retail theft includes more than just taking an item from a merchant without paying; it also includes switching price tags, under-ringing and destroying the security devices used to deter theft. Pennsylvania also has a theft statute for instances where a person fails to make required deposit of funds.
In most cases, the defendant will also be charged with Receiving Stolen Property. This crime is charged when a person receives, keeps or disposes of property of another knowing or believng the property was most likley stolen.
The most serious theft-related charge is Robbery. Robbery can be defined as a theft committed by force or the threat of force. Robbery involving serious bodily injury or the threat of serious bodily injury is a felony of the first degree, which carries a maximum period of incarceration of 20 years.
Penalties for theft are as varied as the offenses themselves. A retail theft charge can range from a summary offense to a felony. It depends on the value of the item(s) and the number of prior retail theft convictions. Unauthorized use of a motor vehicle is a misdemeanor. Theft of a firearm is a felony of the second degree.
Fraud is also a broad term involving deceptive or misleading conduct. Commonly, the Attorney General will bring fraud charges against a person who receives financial assistance, i.e. Medicaid or Food Stamps, by failing to or under reporting income. These case are often felonies because until the fraud is discovered the amount of the fraud is such that it constitutes a felony by statute.
If you need a theft lawyer or fraud defense criminal lawyer in Allentown, Easton, Reading or anywhere in Berks, Lehigh, Carbon, Northampton, or Schuylkill County you need an experienced criminal attorney by your side. Call Dutko & Chwiecko today and let us review your case for FREE!
If you've been charged with robbery, theft, or a fraud offense in Allentown, Reading, Bethlehem, Easton, Jim Thorpe, Pottsville, or any surrounding city or town, you need a reliable attorney on your side.
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