Building a Philadelphia Theft Defense

If you are facing theft charges in Philadelphia, you could be facing serious consequences. For either misdemeanor or felony theft, you are looking at expensive fines and possible imprisonment. This is why it is crucial that you seek the services of an accomplished lawyer who has experience building a Philadelphia theft defense. Call today to schedule a consultation to see what legal options you have.

Defense Strategies

When handling theft charges in Philadelphia, lawyers have a number of different strategies. The strategies that a lawyer may use are dependent on the specific facts of each individual case. For example, the defendant may not have known that the item did not belong to them or it was discarded, which negates the crime of taking from one person. In this case, the lawyer establishes the individual lacked the intent to actually take the item. The attorney could also raise the defense that the defendant never intended to permanently deprive the person of the item, the item was borrowed, a different person gave them permission to have the item, or that person was not the actual owner of the item.

In cases where disputes arise and one side may actually be wrong, then mitigating or a full restitution is a strategy for getting the case dismissed. In many cases, this can be negotiated and once resolved, it can lead to a full dismissal of charges. In some cases, routing a case through the diversionary program is the proper way to mitigate the charges. When cases go through a diversionary program such as ARP, restitution can be paid in full upon a probationary period. Whatever the facts of the case may be, it is vital to have a seasoned attorney who is knowledgeable about building a theft defense in Philadelphia.

Prosecutor’s Burden of Proof

In a theft charge, the prosecutor must show that an individual took something from another person, took it for themselves, and intended to permanently deprive the other person of it. In a car theft, an individual breaks into another person’s vehicle, enters, and then leaves with the car. There is an automatic presumption that the person did not intend to return the vehicle because the person broke into the car. The defendant saying that they were incapacitated, intoxicated, or did not understand what they were doing is not a defense. All the prosecutor has to prove is that something was taken from someone who was the rightful owner of that item and that the person who took it, took it with the intention to permanently deprive the other person of it.

Probation or Reduce Sentence Options

When an individual is charged with theft, having an experienced defense attorney by their side raises the possibility of the theft being negotiated to protect the defendant’s record. One of the ways to do this is having the government review the theft charge for a diversionary or first-time offender program. These programs are available with an attorney’s knowledge of the particular system. An individual has the opportunity to pay full restitution and serve a period of probation and upon completion of that probation, their record is expunged and any record of the arrest will be negated from any sort of national search.

Should an individual be convicted of theft, working restitution or mitigating factors in a plea bargain can reduce the sentence that would carry up to seven years in prison to a shorter period or even avoid incarceration. This is why it is essential for the defendant to obtain the services of a well-trained attorney who is capable of building a Philadelphia theft defense.