Philadelphia Theft Lawyers | Fighting Theft Charges in PA and NJ
The criminal defense lawyers of Goldstein Mehta LLC have successfully defended countless theft cases. If you or a loved one are facing theft charges, call us at 267-225-2545 for a free criminal defense strategy session. We know that criminal theft charges can be extremely serious. The more violent types of theft crimes, such as Robbery and Burglary, often carry the possibility or even likelihood of significant incarceration. This is especially true if a weapon was used in the commission of the crime. However, even less serious misdemeanor theft charges can be extremely damaging to a defendant's ability to maintain or obtain employment because employers are often reluctant to hire someone who has been convicted of stealing. If you are charged with a crime, you should speak with us as soon as possible. We can explain all of your options and help you plan a defense.
Types of Theft Charges in Pennsylvania
Our Philadelphia criminal lawyers have represented clients charged with the following types of offenses and many others:
- Theft By Unlawful Taking
- Receiving Stolen Property (including theft of a vehicle)
- ARD and Other Pre-trial Diversionary Programs
- Forgery and Access Device Fraud
- Theft from a Motor Vehicle
- Unauthorized Use of an Automobile
- Retail Theft (Shoplifting)
- Identity Theft
Defenses That May Be Available to You in a Theft Case
We are experienced criminal defense attorneys who will be able to evaluate your case and recognize the potential defenses to a theft charge. For example, Pennsylvania courts have consistently held that the mere possession of stolen property is insufficient to show that the defendant knew the property was stolen or was in fact the person who stole it. Police and prosecutors will often arrest someone who is found with the proceeds of a burglary or a robbery and charge that person with the actual burglary or robbery in addition to Receiving Stolen Property. However, if the prosecutor's only evidence is that the defendant merely possessed someone else's property, it may be possible to convince the Judge or Jury that there is reasonable doubt or have the case dismissed at a pre-trial hearing. Even the charge of Receiving Stolen Property requires evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knew the property was stolen. The mere possession of stolen goods alone is not enough. Depending on the facts of the case, there may be other defenses, including:
- Motions to Suppress - If the police seized evidence as part of an illegal search or obtained a statement without providing Miranda warnings, we may be able to have incriminating evidence excluded at trial by filing pre-trial motions.
- Motions in Limine - In many cases, it is important to file motions in limine before trial in order to prevent the prosecution from introducing irrelevant and prejudicial evidence. For example, it may make sense to file a motion in limine to prevent the prosecution from using a defendant's record against him or her at trial.
- Challenges to the Gradation - Many theft charges can range from summary offenses to felonies depending on the value of the property involved and the circumstances under which the property was stolen. This means that it may be possible to defend against charges by proving that the property was worth less than the prosecution alleged and therefore a defendant should be found guilty only of a misdemeanor instead of a felony.
- Pre-Trial Diversion - Criminal defendants with no prior record are often eligible for pre-trial diversion for non-violent offenses. If you meet the criteria for ARD, we can help you apply for this important program which could help you avoid a permanent criminal record.
- Misidentification - In many burglary and robbery cases, the identification of the perpetrator is at issue. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys have successfully litigated countless cases involving misidentification. We are highly skilled in cross-examination and using the law to your benefit.
If you or a loved one are charged with a theft crime, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to begin planning your defense immediately. It is possible that you could be facing significant penalties, and a great criminal defense attorney could make all the difference. Our top-rated Philadelphia criminal trial lawyers have extensive experience with these types of charges. We know the defenses, how to try a case to a judge or jury, and when and how to negotiate with the prosecutor. We have a proven track record of obtaining excellent outcomes for our clients. Call or text us at 267-225-2545 now for a complimentary 15-minute criminal defense strategy session with an award-winning Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer and to begin planning your defense.