Property crimes are some of the most commonly charged criminal offenses in Norristown and the rest of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. These crimes vary greatly, both in the value of the property stolen and the way in which they are taken. Whenever you stand accused of a property crime your freedom is at risk. These crimes can range from misdemeanors to felonies, and could result in many years in prison, high fines, and a long-standing criminal record. You deserve to have your case defended by a highly experienced criminal defense attorney; one who will fight for your constitutional rights.
If you or someone you care about has been charged of a property crime in Norristown, PA or the rest of Montgomery County, experienced violent crime attorney Joseph D. Lento is here to help.
Norristown/Montgomery County Property Crime Defense Attorney
With nearly two decades of experience working in various roles in the Pennsylvania criminal justice system, Joseph Lento is a qualified Norristown criminal defense attorney with a comprehensive knowledge of how a criminal case operates from start to finish, and beyond.
If you have been charged with a property crime in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania and need a comprehensive, customized defense, contact the attorneys at the Lento Law Firm. Joseph Lento built his practice on the ideals of customer service and justice and he will fight for your rights and freedom. Call (888) 535-3686 today to schedule your consultation and discover what Joseph Lento can do to clear your name.
Montgomery County Court Process
If arrested in Montgomery County for a violent crime, your case will be scheduled for a preliminary hearing at the applicable Magisterial District Court. There are 30 District Courts in all in Montgomery County. If the case proceeds past the preliminary hearing, the case will be scheduled for a formal arraignment at the Court of Common Pleas located at
2 E. Airy St.
Norristown, PA 19401
The criminal process will continue from that point forward often either resulting in the case proceeding to trial or being resolved through non-trial disposition through dismissal or plea.
Property Crimes in Pennsylvania
A property crime occurs when an individual commits an illegal act against their own or another's property. This can involve:
- theft (either permanent or temporary)
- defacing property
- committing fraud to obtain property
- creating fake items
- passing bad checks
- trespass on another's property
In Pennsylvania, common property crimes Norristown residents are often charged with include:
Common Property Crimes
- When a person intentionally starts a fire, causes an explosion, or otherwise assists another person in committing this offense
- First or second degree felony
- Sentence will increase to life without parole or the death penalty if loss of life is involved in the act of arson
Bad Check Writing
- When a person writes a check or provides some other payment of money with the knowledge that a closed account, insufficient funds, or any other factor will not allow payment, or if it was counterfeit
- Degree of offense depends on prior offenses and the value of the bad check
- When a person enters a building or occupied structure with the intent to commit a crime within the building
- Excludes buildings that are open to the public at the time of entry or persons authorized to enter the building
- Felony of the first or second degree, depending on the case
- The unauthorized or unprivileged entry and/or occupation of a building or occupied structure with the knowledge that it was unauthorized or unprivileged
- Felony of the second or third degree, depending on the case
- Intentionally, recklessly, or negligently damaging tangible property belonging to someone else, with or without intent to damage the person or property
- Deceiving or threatening another individual into financial loss
- Defacing or damaging tangible public property, or real or personal property of another
- Misdemeanor or felony, depending on the value of the property
- Altering or mimicking the writing of someone else without his or her permission with the intent to defraud or injure
- Degree of offense depends on what document is forged
- When a person uses or possesses the identification information of another person without his or her consent
- Each use of the information is a separate offense
- Degree of offense depends on priors and value involved in the offense
- Intentionally receiving, keeping, or disposing of another's movable property while knowing or believing the property was stolen
- Degree of offense depends on value of the property
- Taking possession of or removing merchandise from a store with the intent to deprive the store of the merchandise without payment
- Also applies to the alteration or removal of any security devices, tags, or labels with the intent to deprive the store of the merchandise without payment
- Intent of retail theft is presumed if a person intentionally conceals merchandise with the purpose of depriving the store of the merchandise without payment
- Degree of offense depends on value of the property and any priors
- Also known as theft by deception
- When a person obtains or keeps another person's property through deception
- Degree of offense depends on value of the property
How to Defend Your Case in Montgomery County
Property crimes can quickly derail your life, your finances, and your freedom. These crimes must be treated very seriously in order to avoid long-lasting negative consequences. Defenses exist to help protect your constitutional rights. Some of the most common are as follows:
- Value of Property: For many crimes, the severity of the crime is based upon the value of the property affected. You can argue the value of the property is lower than that argued by the prosecutor.
- Misidentification: If you were not the party that committed the crime, you can show that you were misidentified as the offender.
- File a Suppression Motion: Suppression motions keep out unconstitutionally collected evidence. When the police violate your constitutional rights when collecting evidence, the evidence collected in an illegal way can be kept out of court. This can devastate the prosecutor's case.
- Show Reasonable Doubt: Under U.S. law, criminal cases must be proven "beyond a reasonable doubt," a very high standard. With the help of your criminal defense attorney, you can present areas of doubt to the jury to work towards a not guilty verdict in your case.
Working with a Norristown Property Crime Defense Lawyer
If you have been accused of a property crime in Montgomery County, it is highly recommended that you begin defending your rights and your future with as soon as possible. Joseph Lento is passionate about helping property crimes charges like yours through the system and making sure justice is served on all sides.
For your consultation on how Joseph Lento and the team at Lento Law Firm can help you, call (888) 535-3686 today.