Grading or Severity of Theft Charges in Pennsylvania
The grading or severity of Pennsylvania theft charges is primarily based upon the value of the item taken and whether or not the person has prior theft convictions. A person that steals an item from a store faces a charge of Retail Theft charges under 18 Pa.C.S. 3929. All other thefts are treated slightly differently.
Severity of Pennsylvania Theft Charges
It makes sense that the higher the value of the item taken, the more severe the grading of the charge, so the more jail time and higher the fines that a person faces. Some items, such as guns and vehicles, all result in the filing of felony charges. Pennsylvania theft offenses are graded as follows:
- 1st Degree Felony if the value of the property taken is $500,00.00 or more – punishable by up to 20 years in jail and a $25,000.00 fine
- 2nd Degree Felony if the value of the property is at least $100,000 but less than $500,000, OR if the case involves theft of a firearm – punishable by up to 10 years in jail and a $25,000 fine
- 3rd Degree Felony if the value of the property exceeds $2,000 but less than $100,000, OR if the case involves theft of automobile, airplane, motorcycle, motorboat, or other motor-propelled vehicle – punishable by up to 7 years in jail and a $15,000 fine
- 1st Degree Misdemeanor if the value of the property was at least $200 but not more than $2,000 – punishable by up to 5 years in jail and a $10,000 fine
- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor if the value of the property was at least $50 but less than $200 – punishable by up to 2 years in jail and a $5,000 fine.
- 3rd Degree Misdemeanor if the value of the property was less than $50 – punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Loss of Right to Possess a Firearm
While many people would not think that a theft conviction could prevent them from possessing a firearm, it can happen. A person convicted in Pennsylvania of any felony of or a 1st degree misdemeanor is prohibited by Federal law from possessing a firearm. A person that is prohibited from possessing a firearm under Federal law could be prosecuted in Federal Court or prosecuted by a Pennsylvania Court for violation of Pennsylvania’s law prohibiting possession under 18 Pa.C.S. 6105. Pennsylvania prosecutors aggressively pursue such prosecutions and often seek jail time.
Free Initial Consultation
If you have been charged with a State College theft or another criminal offense in Central Pennsylvania, call an experienced State college theft attorney today at (814) 689-9139 or via email for a free initial consultation.