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Bucks County Theft Lawyer
It is your right to seek legal representation from a qualified and experienced attorney if you have been accused of theft in Pennsylvania. In Bucks County, the crime of theft is defined by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s crime code. Theft is defined by the unlawful taking of something of another without the other person’s consent. Theft can encompass both a felony and/or misdemeanor, depending on the value of items that are alleged to be taken.
Consulting with an experienced criminal lawyer can increase your chances for getting charges dropped or reduced, because such an attorney will work to investigate the circumstances surrounding the accusation in order to determine and pursue the best likely outcome.
Elements of the Charge
In Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the crime of theft is defined by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s crime code. Under the statute, it is defined as the unlawful taking of something from another without the other person’s consent. The charge can encompass both a felony and a misdemeanor, depending on the value of items that are alleged to have been taken.
Additionally, the events in question can be charged as attempted theft when the allegation and refers to a situation in which someone tries to approach another and through subterfuge or any other means attempts to take items from another, whether or not those items were taken.
Some of the subcategories of theft or attempted theft are listed in the statutes of the Commonwealth:
- Theft by deception or extortion
- Theft of services
- Theft of lost or wrongly delivered property
- Theft of services
- Receiving stolen property
- Retail theft
- Unauthorized use of a motor vehicle
If a person is found guilty of a first offense retail theft, or, shoplifting, and the stolen merchandise is worth less than $150, then it constitutes a summary offense. This is the most minor type of criminal offense and may be resolved with a fine.
Theft is considered a crime of crimen falsi. That is, a false act had occurred and this type of act can affect the person’s criminal record, employment record, and even driving record for a long period of time.
Additionally, when thefts are graded as felonies–that is, the amount is over $2,000 or the item is a firearm or automobile–even more severe consequences come into play. For instance, when a theft is graded as a felony of the third degree, a conviction could lead to up to three and a half to seven years’ incarceration and a $15,000 fine.
Theft under $2,000 is considered a misdemeanor. While it has a negative impact on a person’s criminal record and employment possibilities, an individual can face up to two and a half to five years in custody and a $5,000 fine.
However, in most scenarios when theft is dealt with within a misdemeanor sense, diversionary programs and probation are available with the right lawyer.
Long Term Consequences
Theft carries a stigma that implies an individual convicted of such is not to be trusted to work for a city agency, a town, a public service, or any sort of business that employs individuals in charge of finances or monetary funds.
Therefore, a conviction for theft, even at its lowest mark as a misdemeanor, is enough to impact a person’s future employment for some time.
Role of an Attorney
When calling the attorney’s office to discuss a theft crime in Bucks County, an individual should expect that the attorney would attempt to obtain all the details of the alleged allegation, including the amount involved, and determine whether any defenses to such crimes exist. Additionally, an attorney with the right experience in Bucks County will have the ability to reach out to local authorities, prosecutors, and even local courts to obtain additional information on what, if any, allegations are being made towards their client involving the alleged theft charges.
After a thorough investigation, an attorney can advise the individual charged with theft in Bucks County exactly of the right steps that should be taken to continue and pursue the matter. Only then can a person be assured that their rights are being protected and that everything that can be done to put together a proper defense for any theft allegation is in the process.
How An Attorney Can Help
If you have been accused, consider speaking with a knowledgeable Bucks County theft lawyer today. Such an attorney can review your case and discuss with you your options and a defense strategy for your best possible outcome. They will be sure to conduct a thorough review of the circumstance under which you were accused, including:
- Police reports
- Witness statements
- Video surveillance
- Any other evidence for errors and key information that will ultimately help your case
This is all done with an eye toward eliminating the charges before there is any need to enter a courtroom. If this is not possible, a resourceful attorney may be able to get charges significantly reduced and minimize penalties.