Have you been charged with stealing someone else’s property in Pennsylvania? People found guilty of theft crimes–robbery, burglary, or theft–face serious consequences in Scranton and other communities in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
At Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano, we understand the seriousness of such crimes. That’s because we have worked with many people facing such charges and why we’re eager to work with you. We believe everyone deserves exceptional legal advice – and we want to help.
Our law firm includes some of the most experienced criminal defense attorneys in Pennsylvania. Along with a former, two-term District Attorney, our firm includes the former Chief Public Defender and a former Assistant City Solicitor for the City of Scranton. There’s no substitute for courtroom experience. There’s no substitute for success.
What is the difference between the theft crimes of robbery, burglary, and theft?
These three types of theft crimes might seem similar. But in the eyes of the law in Pennsylvania, these three criminal charges have distinct differences. The state defines them as follows:
- Robbery – This form of theft involves taking something from someone with force. Even if no one comes to harm, the law still classifies robbery as a violent crime. A threat of violence during the theft is enough to elevate the crime to robbery.
- Burglary – Entering someone else’s property unlawfully with the intent to steal something is enough to charge someone with burglary. The culprit does not need to succeed in stealing anything. This charge also applies to unlawfully entering someone else’s property and actually stealing something.
- Theft – Sometimes referred to as larceny, theft involves taking property without the consent of the owner. The value of the stolen items determines whether theft is classified as a misdemeanor or a felony. When the stolen item was worth more than $2,000, it becomes a felony charge.
What is the penalty for robbery in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania classifies robbery as a third-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 7 years in prison. If someone comes to harm during the robbery, the charge becomes a second-degree felony. Second-degree felonies are punishable by up to 10 years in prison. If the injuries inflicted by the defendant are serious and result in severe bodily harm, this particular robbery charge is classified as a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Should a thief kill someone during a robbery, the thief will be charged with second-degree murder.
What is the penalty for a burglary conviction?
Pennsylvania often classifies burglary as a first-degree felony, a crime that carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years. However, sometimes law enforcement officials classify burglary as a second-degree felony, especially if there was no one in the structure when the burglary entered the building. The penalty for a second-degree felony is up to 10 years in prison in Pennsylvania.
What is the penalty for theft crimes in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania has several different theft charges based primarily on the value of the stolen items. The penalties include:
- A misdemeanor in the Third-Degree Theft – Stolen property worth less than $50. Penalty – up to 1 year in prison and up to $2,500 fine.
- A misdemeanor in the Second-Degree Theft – Stolen property valued between $50 and $200. Penalty – up to 2 years in prison and up to $5,000 fine.
- A misdemeanor in the First-Degree Theft – Stolen property worth $200 to $2,000. Penalty – up to 5 years in prison and up to $10,000 fine.
- A felony in the Third-Degree Theft – Stolen property worth more than $2,000 or if the property stolen is a car, truck, motorcycle, boat, or another type of vehicle. Penalty – up 7 years in prison and up to $15,000 fine.
- A felony in the Second-Degree Theft – The penalty for a felony of second-degree conviction in Pennsylvania is up to 10 years in prison and up to a $25,000 fine. This charge includes the following stolen items or circumstances: stolen firearm; receiving stolen firearms; theft committed during a natural disaster; and the stolen item contains anhydrous ammonia, a material used to make many illegal drugs, including methamphetamine.
- A felony in the First-Degree Theft – Stolen property is a firearm and the person receiving the stolen firearm buys and sells stolen guns. Penalty – up to 20 years and prison and up to $25,000 fine.
“Why should I hire Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano to represent me?”
Subtle distinctions exist between crimes classified as theft, robbery, or burglary. But the penalties for one crime versus another can be dramatically different. We protect clients against overzealous prosecutors who file the wrong charges or build cases based on procedural mistakes and flawed evidence.
We have years of experience investigating all types of serious criminal cases. Most importantly, we know what evidence to look for and what questions to ask when trying to build the strongest case. First, we’ll meet and consult on your case. After determining the best path for you, we’ll look to get your charges downgraded, dismissed, or negotiate a favorable plea deal on your behalf.
We also cannot stress enough the importance of contacting our law firm as soon as possible. We want to work with you and give your case the attention it rightfully deserves. Contact us right now for a free case evaluation: (570) 348-0776.