Larceny and Theft Charges Can Change Your Life
Pennsylvania criminal law describes larceny and theft as taking someone’s property with no intention of giving it back. Theft is considered larceny if no physical force or weapons are used. The two main types of larceny include grand larceny and petty larceny. The value of the stolen property determines if the larceny is considered grand or petty. This is something your larceny and theft lawyer can help you determine.
Defending Larceny and Theft Charges in Pennsylvania
The number of instances of larceny can affect the number and severity of charges, along with the possible penalties. If you are facing a larceny charge, count on the criminal defense lawyers at Kitay Law Offices. We’ll work hard to persuade the court to dismiss the charges against you. We’ll also work hard to minimize the penalties associated with a theft.
The various penalties for theft can change depending on the value and types of items stolen, a well as other details relating to the case.
Penalties for Larceny and Theft Charges Include:
- Theft of an item valued at less than $50 is a “summary offense.” This is less serious than either a felony or misdemeanor. A summary offense may have a sentence of up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of $25 to $1,500.
- For other types of theft, penalties can range from 90 days to seven years in prison.
Movable and Immovable Property
Movable property is any property which someone moves or relocates. Stealing merchandise is one of the most common types of larceny. For example, stealing a hammer from a hardware store is called retail theft of movable property, better known as shoplifting.
Many people think that shoplifting isn’t a big deal and just a minor offense. This is not true. The higher the value the item, the bigger the penalty can be. Therefore, anyone facing larceny charges for shoplifting needs a skilled lawyer to represent them with a strong defense. A shoplifting charge can change your life forever.
Immovable property is something that can’t be moved like your house and the land surrounding the house. Likewise, an addition to a property which is necessary, like an air conditioning unit, is also immovable property.
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Movable and immovable property larceny and theft includes:
- Theft by Deception: This is when someone intentionally holds back information or gives a false impression about an intention, law, or value of a transaction. In other words when one person deceives or tricks another person.
- Theft of property mislaid, delivered, or lost by mistake: When a person receives property that is meant for someone else, knows that it belongs to someone else and keeps it, they can be charged with theft. You cannot deliberately keep any property from its rightful owner.
Penalties and Punishment for Larceny & Theft Under Pennsylvania Law
- Third-degree misdemeanor: If property is not taken by force or under threat and its value does not exceed $50, then the offense is a third-degree misdemeanor.
- Second-degree misdemeanor: If the property exceeds $50, but is less than $200, then the offense will constitute a second-degree misdemeanor.
- Second-degree felony: If the property or amount stolen exceeds $2,000 or is a vehicle or vessel of any kind, then it is a second-degree felony.
The penalties for these larceny and theft crimes can range between 90 days in jail to 7 years in prison depending on the magnitude of the larceny and theft involved. The specific charge someone will face for a theft offense depends on a number of factors, including:
- the type and value of the property stolen
- the person’s criminal history
- if violence or threats of violence occurred
The Cost of a Theft Crime Conviction
If you receive a theft crime conviction, there will be consequences once you get out of prison. The more serious the theft, the more challenges you will face. Your larceny and theft lawyer will help you evaluate your situation and determine best options.
For example, there may be difficulties returning to school or getting and keeping a job. It may be difficult to get approved for a loan, renting a house or apartment. You could lose the right to vote for a period of time and never be able to own a gun. Moreover, keeping custody of or visitation with your children can become a serious problem.
In addition, if you are undocumented, you could be deported. You can lose a visa or have your renewal application denied. You may also lose the opportunity to become a permanent resident or U.S. citizen. This is why we always recommend you speak with a larceny and theft lawyer right away.
The Impact on the Rest of Your Life and Your Family
A crime conviction on your record will come up when filling out job applications or when getting a background check. A potential employer, colleges admissions office, loan officer, or landlord will see that you have a property crime conviction and they may not trust you.
A crime conviction can also have an impact on your family. If you share custody of your children, the other parent could use the conviction as a reason to go back to court to gain more custody or deny you visitation.
You could lose out on all of this and much more, which is why you should speak with a larceny and theft lawyer to review the facts of your case.
Call Kitay Law Offices for Help
If you are dealing with a summary offense or a felony for theft, you need to defend yourself. The best way to mount a defense in your favor is to work with a criminal defense lawyer at Kitay Law Offices. We’ll look at the facts of your case and carefully review your situation. We will explain how to defend your case and obtain the best possible outcome. Contact us at 888-KITAYLAW for a consultation today.