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DAVID CLARK
Criminal Defense Attorney

Misdemeanor vs. Felony Chester County Theft Charges

Theft charges in Chester County carry a number of consequences depending on the value of items taken as well as the specific items stolen. If you are facing misdemeanor or felony theft charges in Chester County, it is essential to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Misdemeanor Charges

A misdemeanor theft charge in Chester County is usually the result of a theft involving a monetary loss of less than $2,000. This is a charge that reflects an individual took the property of another with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of such property and the property was valued at less than $2,000.

In those cases, thefts can be graded as misdemeanors of the third degree, misdemeanors of the second degree or misdemeanors of the first degree. In most cases, theft charges will result in misdemeanors of the second degree. With this charge, an individual can go to jail for up to two years and receive up to a $2,500 fine. However, most misdemeanor theft cases in Chester County often do not involve incarceration or these maximum sentences.

Misdemeanor theft charges often involve severe consequences to one’s record as well as long probationary and restitution periods. This means that an individual found guilty of a theft, even of a misdemeanor of second-degree, can have a probationary sentence and be monitored by the court up to two years or more and pay fines up to $5,000. Therefore, it is important when charged with a misdemeanor theft in Chester County that a person seeks out the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Felony Charges

Theft is taken very seriously in Chester County as it is a crime against society and involves the taking of an item or items from another with the intent to permanently deprive that person of such items. It is the type of crime that courts, prosecutors, and police and their investigators take very seriously. It is a type of crime that society wants heavily punished so that other crimes to do not follow. Felonies of the third degree are often the highest level felony offense in Chester County.

In Chester County, theft charges graded as a felony of the third degree carry severe penalties and consequences to an individual charged with such. An individual charged with theft graded as a felony of the third degree can face a maximum of seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

Therefore, an individual charged with theft felonies of the third degree in Chester County is often in dire straits. Not having the right attorney can really be a problem if a person wishes to successfully defend his or her case. It is essential that a person charged with theft felony of the third degree in Pennsylvania reach out and obtain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

In rare cases, thefts can also be graded as a felony of the second degree, which are specific to firearms in Pennsylvania. Therefore, if a person is charged with theft of a firearm, a person is facing larger incarceration sentences as the guideline rises up to a maximum of 10 years in jail and a $25,000 fine.

Thefts in any case when graded as a felony require obtaining the right attorney in order to defend the case at the optimal time with the right resources. Only then can a person rest assured that his or her rights are being protected and that all consequences that could lead to a conviction can be reviewed, researched, and in some cases defended thoroughly in an attempt to lead to a possible acquittal.