Being charged with theft or robbery in Allentown, Pennsylvania can lead to serious and far-reaching consequences. These charges are some of the most common brought by police and prosecutors, and without legal counsel, you will be left to fend for yourself against a system aggressively trying to take away your rights and your liberty.
At Young Marr & Associates, our lawyers have years of experience defending clients against theft and robbery charges in the Allentown courts, bringing their case to successful conclusions. We can help you understand the different types of theft and robbery charges and the penalties you might face, and we can work to get the charges dropped and your case dismissed. If you have been charged with theft or robbery or are being investigated for these charges, it is vital that you retain an experienced Allentown theft and robbery attorney like those at Young Marr & Associates as soon as possible. Call us at (215) 372-8667 to schedule a free legal consultation.
Types of Theft Crimes Charged in Allentown, PA
In general, theft is the taking of something of value that belongs to someone else without that person’s permission. However, there are a number of different types of theft that fall under this umbrella definition. The facts of each case are unique, and if you are charged with theft, it is important to consult with a trained Allentown theft and robbery attorney like those at Young Marr & Associates to understand the specifics of your charges. The following are some of the most common types of theft charged in Allentown:
Theft by Unlawful Taking or Disposition
Theft by unlawful taking is the typical type of theft you might think of when you hear the word “theft.” This type of theft occurs if you take moveable property without permission while you have the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property. For example, stealing a diamond ring from a woman’s unattended purse or taking a wallet out of an open gym locker would fall under this category of theft. It can also occur if you attempt to exercise control over some type of immovable property that belongs to another. If you moved into someone’s house while they were out of town without their permission, that would be an example of unlawful taking of immovable property.
Theft by Deception
Theft by deception occurs when you use lies or trickery to deceive someone into giving you their property under false pretenses. For example, pretending you are a television repair person to steal someone’s television could qualify as theft by deception.
Theft of Services
Theft of services occurs when a person accepts services without paying when they know they are supposed to be paid for. This can be done through deception or threats. An example of this type of theft would be illegally rigging wires to transmit cable or internet service to your apartment without paying for them.
Theft by Extortion
Theft by extortion is the legal name for what we would more commonly consider blackmail. Examples of this can include threatening to expose an embarrassing secret, threatening to harm someone, or threatening to commit a crime against someone if they do not give you money or property.
Penalties for Theft Offenses in Allentown
These types of theft can be charged as a range of misdemeanors or felonies. The level of charges you face depends on several factors, the most important of which is the value of what was stolen. Other factors, however, are also taken into consideration. The seriousness of the charge will affect the severity of the penalties.
Third-Degree Misdemeanor Theft
- Charged if the property stolen is valued at less than $50
- Up to 1 year in prison
- Fines up to $2,500
Second-Degree Misdemeanor Theft
- Charged if the property is valued at at least $50 but less than $200
- Up to 2 years in prison
- Fines up to $5,000
First-Degree Misdemeanor Theft
- Charged if the property is valued at at least $200 but less than $2,000
- Up to 5 years in prison
- Fines up to $10,000
Third-Degree Felony Theft
- Charged if the property is valued at more than $2,000
- Also charged if the property is a car, motorcycle or boat
- Up to 7 years in prison
- Fines up to $15,000
Second-Degree Felony Theft
- Charged if the offense is committed during a disaster (looting)
- Up to 10 years in prison
- Fines of up to $25,000
First-Degree Felony Theft
- Typically reserved for armed robbery
- Also charged for theft of a firearm or possession of a stolen firearm by a firearm dealer
- Up to 20 years in prison
- Fines up to $25,000
Robbery vs. Theft Charges
Robbery is the most serious theft-related crime, and it can come with dire consequences including serious jail time. Robbery is essentially defined as theft with the additional presence of other actions that make it more serious, such as the following:
- Inflicting bodily harm during the theft
- Threatening someone with bodily harm during a theft
- Use of force, “however slight,” to take something from someone
- Committing or threatening to commit a felony during the theft
Penalties for Robbery in Allentown, PA
Because these additional factors are considered “aggravating,” robbery is always charged as a felony, but it can be a first, second, or third-degree felony depending on the circumstances. A first-degree felony is usually charged if “serious” bodily harm is inflicted, while a second-degree felony is usually charged if more minor bodily harm is inflicted. A third-degree felony is usually charged when force is used but no bodily harm is caused.
You can face a prison sentence of up to 5 years for third-degree felony robbery, up to 10 years for second-degree felony robbery, and up to 20 years for first-degree felony robbery.
Call Our Allentown, Pennsylvania Theft and Robbery Lawyers for a Free Legal Consultation
Theft and robbery crimes are taken extremely seriously by the authorities and can result in serious prison terms if you are not properly defended. If you are accused of one of these crimes, you need a law firm like Young Marr & Associates that will fight for your rights and devote serious time and resources to your case. Our client-centric approach means that we work for you, not the other way around. Call our Allentown, PA theft and robbery attorneys today at (215) 372-8667 for a free consultation.