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Marinaro Law Firm

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Home 9 Criminal Law 9 Need to Hire a Theft Lawyer in Lancaster, PA?

Need to Hire a Theft Lawyer in Lancaster, PA?

When facing a theft charge, your future feels a little unknown. You do not know how your battle in court will go down and whether you will face a more severe felony charge or a simple misdemeanor. Either way, you want to minimize the consequences of a theft conviction. Therefore, you need to hire a theft lawyer in Lancaster, PA, like Michael Marinaro at Marinaro Law Firm, to get the best result possible.

With more than 25 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney, Michael Marinaro will prepare for your case with the diligence and focus required for a courtroom showdown. As a former forensic scientist for the Maryland State Police, Attorney Marinaro can analyze evidence in ways other theft attorneys can’t. Get in touch with our office today to build the defense you deserve.

Different Types of Criminal Charges for Theft in Pennsylvania

Facing criminal charges for theft can be daunting. Not only are the terms confusing and wrongfully often used interchangeably, but there are significant differences in the crime and consequences for specific charges. Theft happens when someone takes another person’s property without the owner’s consent or authorization. An experienced Lancaster criminal defense lawyer, like Attorney Marinaro, can help you understand the differences in these crimes so you know what to expect before and after your trial.


A person with a gun holds it up to a woman behind a counter in a floral top.

Robbery involves the use of force or threat of force during a theft. Suppose that force results in bodily injury or serious bodily injury to another person. In that case, this type of violent crime can significantly change a conviction’s penalties, including jail time, fines, restitution, community service, or probation. 


A person enters a home at night through a backdoor.

If a person enters a building with the intent to commit a crime — unless the premises are open to the public at the time of entry — unless the premises are open to the public at the time of entry — that person can be charged with burglary. Whether someone was home when the crime was committed and the building type can affect penalties.

Property Crimes

A smashed-in windowpane.

Property crimes can vary. The consequences for stealing a nail polish bottle will differ from those for stealing a car or breaking into someone’s house. However, all property crimes come with penalties for conviction, and all can negatively impact your life. Be sure to get a theft lawyer in Lancaster, PA. 

A man puts a phone in his jacket pocket without paying for it.

Retail Theft

Depending on the monetary value of the items in question and your prior history, retail theft can have devastating consequences upon conviction, even if you are under the age of 18. It is crucial to seek the legal advice and defense of a skilled theft attorney in Lancaster, PA, like Marinaro Law Firm.

What Happens After Your Arrest for a Theft Crime?

A person is handcuffed and escorted down a hallway by a police officer.

You’ll be brought to jail for booking if you are arrested for a theft crime. The police will record your personal information and take your fingerprints and photographs. Pennsylvania requires a medical screening at the time of booking before you are placed in a holding cell. A complaint is then filed that identifies you as the defendant and your charges.

After receiving the complaint, the Lancaster County magistrate will issue a summons or arrest warrant, depending on the severity of your crime. Bail must be set within 12 hours of filing the complaint, though not all crimes require bail. Afterward, your case will proceed through the court system.

You must call a theft lawyer in Lancaster, PA, as early as possible in the process. You may be worried about the cost of hiring a lawyer, but you’ll pay a  much higher price in terms of legal consequences without an experienced defense attorney. Michael Marinaro can help ensure you receive adequate representation for your legal matter and will fight to defend your rights throughout the court process.

Theft Charges and How They Can Affect Your Future

A man in a suit explains a document to a person across the desk from him.

No matter what type of theft you get convicted of, penalties can include jail time, fines, restitution, community service, or probation. As your theft lawyer in Lancaster, PA, it is Attorney Marinaro’s goal to limit your exposure to these consequences and move you toward a beneficial resolution in the most efficient manner possible. We will often negotiate with the prosecutor’s office to reach a plea agreement or reduce charges. Contact us today to discuss your situation in greater detail.

Outside of potential jail time, restitution and probation, you will now have a criminal record if convicted. This record might ultimately limit your job or housing opportunities in the future. If you are facing any of these charges, it’s essential to have a lawyer on your side to protect your rights and defend your freedom.

Levels of Theft Charges in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, the specific charge for retail theft depends on many factors, such as the type and value of the property you allegedly stole, your criminal history, and whether you used force or threats of violence during the offense. Contact our firm to discuss your unique situation and learn more about the obstacles you face through the legal process.

Third-Degree Misdemeanor

A person in a black jacket takes the wallet from a woman's purse walking by him.

A third-degree misdemeanor is issued if the property’s value is less than $50. You may face up to one-year incarceration and a $2,500 fine upon conviction of a third-degree misdemeanor theft.

Second-Degree Misdemeanor

A man takes a phone from a store's shelves and puts it in a backpack.

If the property you allegedly stole was worth between $50 and $199, you might be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor. Jail time for this crime is a maximum of two years plus a $5,000 fine.

First-Degree Misdemeanor

A person puts a product in their bag from the store shelves.

A charge of a first-degree misdemeanor is for stolen products worth between $200 and $2,000. A guilty verdict of this crime can mean five years in jail and a $10,000 fine.

Third-Degree Felony

A person uses a screwdriver to try to break into a car.

Courts issue a third-degree felony for property value between $2,001 and $99,999. When convicted, a person charged with this crime faces up to seven years in jail and a $15,000 fine.

Second-Degree Felony

Money bags on the ground surrounded by hundred-dollar bills and gold bars.

A second-degree felony is issued for stolen property worth between $100,000 and $499,999. You could face up to 10 years in jail and a $25,000 fine for the crime if convicted.

First-Degree Felony

Stacks of gold bars and federal reserve bank bags in a safe.

You may be charged with a first-degree felony if the value of the goods is $500,000 or more. A conviction of this charge brings a maximum sentence of 20 years in jail and a $25,000 fine.

Get Help from an Experienced Theft Lawyer in Lancaster, PA, Today!

Theft, whether it’s robbery, burglary, retail theft, or property crimes, is a serious allegation. That’s why you need an attorney with a specialty practice area of criminal law, like Attorney Marinaro. His history as a forensic chemist for the Maryland State Police gives him a unique ability to analyze evidence such as fingerprints and DNA testing.

As a theft lawyer in Lancaster, PA, Attorney Marinaro is the best criminal defense attorney suited for your case. If you have questions regarding theft charges, contact Marinaro Law by calling 717-397-7055, toll-free 866-614-6520, or by completing our online contact form. 

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