Robbery, Burglary or Theft Charges in York PA
If you have been charged with robbery, burglary or theft in Pennsylvania you will need to hire an experienced Pennsylvania defense attorney to help you defend yourself and protect your constitutional rights. Any attempt to try and defend yourself without legal representation may mean that you end up being charged with a more serious offense than you deserve and face greater penalties than you should. These charges are all criminal offenses and could mean several years’ incarceration as well as probation and a hefty fine. Being convicted a second or third time will also lead to more severe penalties. Any criminal conviction can affect you and your family for the rest of your life as it will affect your chances of getting a job in the future or promotion.
What is the Difference Between Robbery, Burglary and Theft?
Very often, these terms are used interchangeably in everyday language, but in Pennsylvania they represent different crimes with different penalties even though there are aspects in common between the three offenses.
Robbery involves the intention as well as the actual taking of property from another person by force. This force may involve a simple verbal threat or the use of some type of simple force or weapons. There are three different degrees of robbery, all of which are felonies in Pennsylvania law.
The least serious is a third degree robbery. This is considered to take place when the robber uses some degree of force on another person in order to take their property.
A second degree robbery takes place when someone is injured or hurt when the robber uses force on them in order to take their property.
The most serious charge of robbery is a first degree felony. This takes place when someone is seriously injured or harmed when the attacker uses more extreme violence on that person in order to take their property.
As any robbery charge is considered a felony, you should hire the best defense attorney in your county to represent your interests and fight to get your charge dismissed or the severity of it reduced, if possible.
Penalties for robbery depend on the degree of felony which has alleged to have been committed. All robbery charges involve a fine and a jail sentence. First degree robbery convictions would result in a 20 year prison sentence and fines of up to $25,000. Second degree robberies could see a prison sentence of 10 years and a third degree robbery a prison sentence of 5 years with proportionately less fines.
While robbery involves a theft from a person or people by force or intimidation, a burglary involves a theft from a building after illegal and forced entry. Like robbery charges, there are different degrees of severity for a burglary offense, but they are all regarded as felonies and will result in jail sentences and fines of similar magnitude to robbery.
The least serious burglary is a first degree felony and takes place when a burglar forces entry into a building which is unoccupied and carries out a theft from that building. The second type of burglary is considered a second degree felony and takes place when the burglar enters a building which is occupied at the time and carries out a theft.
Penalties for burglary depend on the type of offense. Prison sentences and fines are similar to the same type of felony conviction for robbery.
While both robbery and burglary are both considered types of theft, there are other offenses which are classified in Pennsylvania law as theft as well. In these offenses, the use of force on a person or entry to a building is not necessarily involved.
There are several ways in which a theft can be determined. The examples below are just some of the possible theft categories.
- Theft Through Deception
- Theft from Inside a Motor Vehicle
- Theft Through the Receiving of Stolen Property
- Theft by Unlawful Taking
These different types of theft may be classed as misdemeanors or felonies. The type of charge depends on various factors like the value of the money or goods stolen, the number of previous convictions and what exactly was stolen.
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