Theft Defense Attorney for Temple Students
The severity of a theft offense often depends on the items that a defendant is accused of stealing. Even if the value of items stolen is not extremely valuable, you do not want to face the criminal or academic consequences of being arrested for theft. If you are a student at Temple University, and you are charged with theft, you should consult with an experienced Philadelphia theft defense attorney.
The Law Office of Lloyd Long is here to provide you with the legal representation that you need to fight your theft case. Theft defense attorney Lloyd Long has a wealth of experience navigating the criminal justice system, and he would be proud to use his knowledge to represent you. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your case, contact the Law Office of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171, or contact us online.
Elements of a Theft Offense
In Pennsylvania, theft is a crime that can be divided into several different categories. These categories are determined by the type of theft that the defendant is accused of committing. For example, a person can commit theft if they take or assert unlawful control over the property of another person with the intention to permanently deprive the person of their property. If you take a classmate’s textbook with the express thought of not returning it, you can be arrested for theft.
Theft by deception is another category of theft that a defendant can be charged with. Theft by deception occurs when a person causes a person to doubt their rightful claim over the property. This is often accomplished by telling a falsity or reinforcing false information that causes the victim to believe they do not own the property in question.
Theft by extortion is when a person retains the property of a victim by engaging in a subsequent criminal act. For example, if you take property from another student by threatening to report them for an action they did not commit, you can be charged with theft by extortion.
It is also possible to be arrested for theft if you choose to keep property that came into your possession by mistake. For example, if a package was delivered to your home erroneously and you make use of the property instead of returning it to its owner, you may be accused of theft of lost property.
There are other categories of theft not listed here that an offender could be charged with. For example, theft of services at a restaurant is another form of theft. To learn more about theft offenses and the penalties for theft, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense attorney.
Criminal Sentencing Guidelines for Theft
The criminal penalties for theft depend on the value of the goods that were stolen. For example, if you are accused of stealing the property of another that was valued at less than $50, you will be charged with a summary offense. In Pennsylvania, summary offenses carry a maximum penalty of up to 90 days in jail and a $300 fine.
If a defendant is accused of stealing property valued between $50 to $200, they will likely be charged with a third degree misdemeanor. While third degree misdemeanors are the least severe type of misdemeanor, a defendant can still serve up to a year in prison if convicted. There is also a $2,000 fine for third degree misdemeanors.
If the stolen goods are worth more than $2,000 or the item is a vehicle, the defendant can be charged with a second degree felony. Second degree felonies are a serious offense that carries up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
The theft of a firearm will escalate the grading of the crime to a first degree felony. In Pennsylvania, first degree felonies carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.
It is also important to note that the penalties for theft can be increased under other circumstances. For example, if you commit theft during a natural disaster, additional charges can be added to your case.
An arrest for theft will likely cause your university to institute disciplinary proceedings to determine the veracity of the offense. Our firm can help you gather evidence and prepare for a disciplinary hearing regarding your theft case.
Work with an Experienced Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyer You Can Trust
If you or a family member was arrested for theft, contact an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer today. The Law Office of Lloyd Long is invested in providing our clients our undivided attention to ensure they receive the criminal defense they deserve. Whether you need assistance with your criminal case or with disciplinary proceedings initiated by your university, we are here for you. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options, contact the Law Office of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171.