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Pennsylvania Criminal Law Topic of the Week: Theft by Unlawful Taking

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There are many kinds of theft-related crimes under Pennsylvania law. One of these is theft by unlawful taking. Theft by unlawful taking in Pennsylvania is the crime charged to someone who is caught stealing. In today's blog, our Western PA Criminal Defense Lawyers provide you with an analysis of the crime.

Theft itself is a pretty broad category under Pennsylvania law, and covers many forms of stealing. Theft by unlawful taking in PA can be charged as wither a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the value of the items stolen.

Like many other crimes in Pennsylvania, there are different levels of theft by unlawful taking. In this case there are four different levels: a third degree misdemeanor, a second degree misdemeanor, a first degree misdemeanor, and a felony.

A person will most likely be charged with a third degree misdemeanor if he or she steals items that are valued under $50. For this crime the individual can face up to 1 year in jail. If someone steals items valued between $50 and $200, they can be charged with a second degree misdemeanor and can face a prison sentence of up to 3 years.

The two most serious charges related to theft by unlawful taking in Pennsylvania are first degree misdemeanor and felony. To be charged with a first degree misdemeanor, the items stolen must have a value between $200 and $2000. For this a person can face up to 5 years in jail. For a felony, the value of the items needs to be over $2,000. For a theft of this magnitude an individual faces potential jail time of up to 7 years.

Within these generalized categories, however, there are exceptions to the punishments that can be imposed. For example, if a theft involves a firearm, the theft will be automatically charged as a felony. Theft can be a tricky charge to defend against, and it is best to have an experienced attorney on your side.

If you have been charged with a theft crime, including theft by unlawful taking, contact our team of Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Attorneys at Lisa Marie Vari & Associates. Our attorneys will provide you with the guidance and legal representation you need throughout your case. Don't delay, contact our office today to schedule a consultation.

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