Understanding Pennsylvania’s Stalking Laws

understanding-pennsylvanias-stalking-lawsIn recent years, the state of Pennsylvania, like many other jurisdictions, has taken a strong stance against activities considered to be stalking or harassment. Under Pennsylvania law, stalking typically involves a pattern of activity, rather than a single incident. Section 2709.1 of Title 18 defines stalking as a “course of conduct or repeated acts without authorization with intent to place [a person]in reasonable fear or cause substantial emotional distress. In addition, it can be obvious and direct or more subtle, from visible confrontations or following to things like unwanted gifts, unsolicited phone calls or other forms of attention.

There’s a requirement under the Pennsylvania law that the victim of stalking show that the harassment resulted in some level of emotional distress. This is typically determined by the judge or jury, based on the facts. In most instances, a first charge of stalking will be prosecuted as a misdemeanor in the 1st degree. However, if the defendant has any prior convictions for stalking, the charges can be far more serious, and can rise to the level of a 3rd degree felony.

It’s pretty common, when a person is charged with stalking, for the victim to ask the court to issue a restraining or protective order. Such an order typically requires the “stalker” to stay a minimum distance from the victim, from the victim’s home and work, and from other places the victim is known to go. It can also limit or ban certain types of contact, including mail, phone or Internet, and can make it a violation of the order to send anything to the victim. Violation of the order is considered contempt of court and can lead to substantial fines, as well as incarceration.

Contact the Law Office of Michael Curtis Greenberg

You don’t have to lose your license or go to jail. Let attorney Greenberg fight to protect your rights!

Your first consultation is free. We’ll meet with you evenings and weekends, if necessary, and can travel to your home or to detention to discuss your case. We take all credit cards, as well as PayPal.

For an appointment, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 855-598-3650.

Named One of the Top 100 New Jersey Criminal Trial Lawyers in 2015
by
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Controlled Dangerous Substance Charges in New Jersey

controlled-dangerous-substance-charges-in-new-jerseyIf you have been arrested or are under investigation for a drug-related charge in New Jersey, it’s important that you understand some of the unique aspects of how a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) is treated under New Jersey law.

Classification of Controlled Dangerous Substances

New Jersey law places all controlled dangerous substances into one of five categories, based on their likelihood of abuse and any recognized medical value. The classifications include common recreational drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine and heroin, but can also apply to any compounds or substances used in their manufacture. Those drugs that are believed to have the greatest risk of abuse, combined with the least perceived medical value, are found in Schedule I, and those with the least risk of addiction and the greatest medical value or Schedule V CDSes.

The Potential Penalties for Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance

The charges faced depend on the Schedule of the CDS in your possession. Possession of any amount of a Schedule I, II, III or IV controlled dangerous substance can be prosecuted as a crime in the 3rd degree, with a potential penalty of 3-5 years in prison and a fine of up to $35,000. If the drug falls under Schedule V, you can be sentenced to up to 18 months of incarceration and a $15,000 fine.

Contact the Law Office of Michael Curtis Greenberg

Don’t lose your license or go to jail. We will fight to protect your rights!

There’s no charge for your first consultation. We are available to meet with you evenings and weekends, if necessary, and can travel to your home or to detention to discuss your case. We accept all credit cards, as well as PayPal.

To schedule an appointment, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 855-598-3650.

Named One of the Top 100 New Jersey Criminal Trial Lawyers in 2015
by
The American Society of Legal Advocates

Theft Crimes in Pennsylvania

theft-crimes-in-pennsylvaniaIn Pennsylvania, as in other states, the elements of the crime of theft are laid out in the statutes. First and foremost, it’s important to understand that theft is a crime that requires intent. A prosecutor must show that you knew or had reason to know that you did not have legal right to possess or hold the property. It must also be shown that you took, transferred or exercised dominion/control over the property with the specific intent to deprive the right owner of the use, possession or control of it. Furthermore, it’s not necessary that you actually removed if from the possession or dominion of the rightful owner. If you receive goods or property from a third party and either know or have reason to know that the goods are stolen, you can be charged with theft.

As in other jurisdictions, Pennsylvania makes a distinction among theft charges based on the value of the property stolen. If the total value is under $50, you can be charged with a summary offense and may have to pay a fine of up to $1,500. The charge will appear on a criminal record, so you need to take a summary offense seriously.

If the value is more than $50, but less than $200, it’s considered a misdemeanor in the second degree, with a penalty of up to two years in prison and a potential fine of as much as $5,000. If the value exceeds $200, but the crime is not a felony as defined in Pennsylvania law, it’s deemed a misdemeanor in the first degree, with penalties of up to five years of incarceration and a $10,000 fine.

Pennsylvania Felony Theft Offenses

A theft may be charged as a felony in Pennsylvania if the value of goods stolen exceeds $2,000, or if the theft is from a motor-propelled vehicle, including a car, truck, boat or airplane. Additionally, if you are in the business of buying and selling stolen goods, you can face felony theft charges.

Pennsylvania law also makes certain specific theft crimes felonies, including:

  • Theft of a firearm
  • Receiving a stolen firearm
  • Theft of anhydrous ammonia
  • Theft during a manmade or natural disaster, including a war-caused disaster

Contact Attorney Michael Curtis Greenberg

Don’t go to jail. Let us fight to protect your rights!

There’s no charge for your first consultation. We are available to meet with you evenings and weekends, if necessary, and can travel to your home or to detention to discuss your case. We accept all credit cards, as well as PayPal.

To schedule an appointment, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 855-598-3650.

Named One of the Top 100 New Jersey Criminal Trial Lawyers in 2015
by
The American Society of Legal Advocates