The crimes of arson (18 PS 3301), burglary (18 PS 3502), robbery (18 PS 3701) and forgery (18 PS 4101) are among the most serious offenses against property contained in the Pennsylvania Crimes Code, and are graded as felony offenses that carry with them the possibility of lengthy prison terms and hefty fines.
A person commits Arson Endangering Persons, a felony of the first degree, by intentionally starting a fire or causing an explosion, or if he aids, counsels, pays or agrees to pay another to do so, whether on his own property or that of another, and if he thereby recklessly places another person in danger of death or bodily injury, or if he commits the act with the purpose of destroying or damaging an inhabited or occupied structure of another.
A person commits Arson Endangering Property, a felony of the second degree, if he intentionally starts a fire or causes an explosion, whether on his own property or that of another, or if he pays or aids another to do so, and if he commits the act with the intent of destroying or damaging a building or unoccupied structure of another, or recklessly places an inhabited building or occupied structure of another in danger of damage or destruction, or commits the act with intent of destroying or damaging any property, whether his own or of another, to collect insurance for such loss.
A person is guilty of Burglary if he enters a building or occupied structure with intent to commit a crime therein, unless the premises are at the time open to the public or the person is licensed or privileged to enter. It is a defense to prosecution for burglary that the building or structure was abandoned. Burglary is a felony of the first degree unless the building or structure is not adapted for overnight accommodation and no individual is present at the time of entry, in which case the offense is reduced to a felony of the second degree.
A person is guilty of Robbery if, in the course of committing a theft, he:
(1) inflicts serious bodily injury upon another (felony 1);
(2) Threatens another with or intentionally puts him in fear of immediate serious bodily injury (felony 1);
(3) Commits or threatens immediately to commit a felony of the first or second degree (felony 1);
4) Inflicts bodily injury upon another or threatens another with or intentionally puts him in fear of immediate bodily injury (felony 2);
(5) Physically takes or removes property from the person of another by force, however slight (felony 3); or
(6) Takes or removes the money of a financial institution without the permission of the financial institution by making a demand of an employee of the financial institution orally or in writing with the intent to deprive the financial institution thereof (felony 2).
An act shall be deemed “in the course of committing at theft” if it occurs in an attempt to commit theft or in flight after the attempt or commission.
A person is guilty of Forgery if, with intent to defraud or injure anyone, or with knowledge that he is facilitating a fraud or injury to be perpetrated by anyone, the actor:
(1) alters any writing of another without his authority;
(2) makes, completes, executes, authenticates, issues or transfers any writing so that it purports to be the act of another who did not authorize that act, or to have been executed at a time or place or in a numbered sequence other than was in fact the case, or to be a copy of an original when no such original existed; or
(3) utters any writing which he knows to be forged in a manner specified in paragraphs (1) or (2) above.
Depending upon the circumstances, forgery is either a felony of the second or third degree or a misdemeanor of the first degree.
In addition to the above-mentioned offenses, offenses against property can include, without limitation, such crimes as:
A criminal arrest and conviction for any of the offenses against property, in addition to negatively impacting a person’s freedom and reputation, may permanently damage one’s opportunity for obtaining future gainful employment, higher education, loans, housing and even residency in the United States, to mention just a few of the possible negative outcomes.
If you are arrested and charged with an offense against property, it is vitally important that you secure trained and experienced trial counsel as soon as possible so that all of your federal and state constitutional and legal rights are protected, and your chances for achieving a favorable outcome are maximized.
Since the 1970’s, Attorneys Fredrick E. Charles and Dennis G. Charles of the Charles Law Offices have zealously and effectively guarded the legal rights and interests of people arrested and charged with criminal offenses against property. Their excellent legal training, pretrial investigation, preparation, trial and appellate skills, coupled with their access to, and use of, the finest forensic experts in the field, have enabled them for almost 40 years to achieve successful outcomes for people charged with offenses against property.
If you, or a loved one, have been arrested and charged with a crime against property, the lawyers at Charles Law Offices will protect all of your federal and state constitutional and legal rights throughout all stages of the criminal prosecution, including:
Trust the legal knowledge, training, trial skills and unrivaled experience of Attorneys Fredrick E. Charles and Dennis G. Charles of the Charles Law Offices to carefully analyze your case and zealously represent and defend your legal interests at the highest level.
Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with a lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the attorneys at Charles Law Offices.
The Charles Brothers’ devotion to the law is derived from a family history in the legal system and of service to others. Their father, Charles “Chink” Charles (depicted in the lower left-hand corner of the photograph) held a 35 year career in law enforcement, and was selected to serve as the personal bodyguard for former United States Presidents John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon and Lyndon B. Johnson during their campaign visits to Allentown.