Theft Charges Defense Attorney in Philadelphia, PA
Theft charges are serious criminal charges that can cause you and your family a lot of heartache. Being arrested for theft is a major affront to one’s reputation and good name. Even if the alleged suspect is cleared of all charges, it can have a significant impact on one’s reputation.
One thing to keep in mind is that theft charges are not always accurate. There are several out-of-the-box defenses to theft charges that you can use if you are ever charged with a theft crime.
Types of Theft Charges
There are several types of theft charges you might encounter, including:
- Petty Theft. When someone steals property worth less than $950, petty theft is considered. The penalties for petty theft vary depending on whether the case is tried or whether you plead guilty or no contest (“no contest” means that you do not admit guilt but are convicted in court).
- Robbery. Robbery is the use of force or fear to steal from another person. It can also be defined as taking another person’s property with the intent of permanently depriving them of it. These charges can range from misdemeanors to felonies, depending on the severity of the robbery and the presence of any weapons.
- Armed Robbery. An armed robbery occurs when someone pulls out a weapon and threatens to use physical force on another person to steal their money or property. If no weapon was used, but there was still injury or death, this would be considered an aggravated assault rather than an armed robbery (see Aggravated Assault below). The penalties for armed robbery vary based on your criminal history and whether any weapons were involved at a
- Embezzlement. Embezzlement is the act of misappropriating funds or property entrusted to you. It is considered a type of fraud and can happen in various ways, such as taking money from an employer or client or failing to deposit funds into the proper account and keeping it for personal use.
- Shoplifting. Stealing merchandise from a store without paying for it is known as shoplifting. Shoplifting can be classified as a misdemeanor or felony offense, with penalties ranging from a fine to jail time and probation depending on the value of the merchandise and other factors.
- Theft of a vehicle. This offense can be charged if you steal a car or another motor vehicle. It makes no difference whether or not the vehicle is yours. The penalties differ depending on how many times you have been convicted of this type of crime in the previous five years.
Defence Against Theft Charges
- The Claim of right or ownership of property. This defense applies when the defendant believes they have a legal right to possess or use the property at issue. For example, if someone was asked to hold a property for another person because they were going to buy it but changed their mind and no longer wanted it, this could be considered a right defense claim. To make this defense work, the defendant must demonstrate that he believed he had a legal right to take possession of the property and that he had no intention of permanently depriving the owner of possession when he took it.
- Property return as a theft defense. The best way to use this defense is to show that you never intended to keep the property permanently during its absence from its owner’s possession.
- In other words, they may claim that they only intended to borrow it for a short period before returning it.
- No damage or interference. This defense is effective when there is no evidence of property damage or interference with its use during the temporary seizure. To accomplish this, try providing receipts indicating where you purchased items that their owners later reclaimed.
- Intoxication. While intoxication does not negate intent, it may reduce your culpability for certain crimes such as shoplifting or petty theft, where an intoxication defense may be successful in reducing your sentence from a felony to misdemeanor charges. Intoxication defenses are especially useful when proven by witnesses or other evidence, such as surveillance video footage or police reports because they explain why someone was intoxicated.
- Entrapment. Entrapment is a common defense in a shoplifting case. To establish entrapment, the defendant must demonstrate that they were coerced into committing the crime by law enforcement officers and that they would not have committed the crime if not for this coercion.
Contact the Brookman Law Group Today
Our defense team will work hard to have your charges dismissed or reduced so that you can move on with your life without the distractions and consequences of a criminal conviction. This is accomplished by knowing all the rules and regulations governing theft charges in your state and understanding how these rules apply to your specific situation.
Protect your freedom today by contacting the Brookman Law group. Our team of professionals will defend you against assault and battery charges. You can call us at (267) 415-4623 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.