If you are charged with a theft, home invasion, property, or other financial crime, call the Zuckerman Law Firm today at 412-447-5580. As a former prosecutor of these crimes, Attorney Dave Zuckerman has the trial experience, negotiation skills, education and ability to handle your case from start to finish. We encourage you to read the information on this page to learn more about your charges. For a free confidential consultation, please call 412-447-5580. Weekend and evening appointments available.


If you were recently charged with a theft crime and are confused by the number and type of charges you received, you are not alone. The law regarding theft and financial crimes can be complex. Please look at the list of items below, which illustrates some, but not all, of the most common actions where a charge might apply:

  • Access Device Fraud: Using someone's credit or debit card without their permission.
  • Bad Checks: Paying someone with a check at a time when you knew you didn't have the money for the check to "clear."
  • Burglary: Breaking into someone's home or business with the intent of committing a crime while inside, such as stealing valuables.
  • Criminal Trespass: Entering or breaking into someone's home or business without permission, where there is no proof that you had the intent to commit a crime while inside.
  • Forgery: Where you sign someone else's name on a document without their permission, or create counterfeit money.
  • Identity Theft: Using someone else's name, date of birth, and other personal information without permission with the purpose of committing another crime. Examples include signing up for a credit card on someone else's behalf or giving a police officer your relative's name and information to avoid being arrested on a warrant.
  • Receiving Stolen Property: You possess something stolen from another person or business, or sell property when you know its stolen.
  • Retail Theft: Shoplifting
  • Robbery: Stealing something from someone by using a threat or force. Pickpocketing is a robbery in Pennsylvania.
  • Robbery of a Motor Vehicle: Carjackings, or otherwise using force to take a person's car.
  • Theft by Deception: When you lie or commit similar deceptive acts to get someone to give you money or property in return. For example, if you cash a fake $500 check at a check-cashing agency, and they hand you $500, you have just committed a theft by deception of the $500.
  • Theft from a Motor Vehicle: Stealing something out of a person's car.
  • Theft of a Motor Vehicle: Stealing someone's car with or without force, but it does not have to be a carjacking, and may be as simple as "joyriding" with someone else's car without their permission.
  • Theft of Services: Where a person obtains services for him/herself by deception, by tampering with a device, such as modifying a valve to steal gas from the gas company.
  • Theft By Unlawful Taking: Stealing something belonging to another person or business
  • Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle: Using someone's car without permission.


You should never assume that you are guilty of a theft or financial related crime. There are many investigative errors, gaps in the evidence, and other issues that can be raised to defend your case, including:

  • Weak and inconclusive eyewitness testimony.
  • Lack of DNA and fingerprint evidence.
  • Failing to obtain and preserve financial documents and surveillance tape evidence.
  • Failing to interview alibi witnesses who will confirm that you were somewhere else at the time of this offense.
  • Failure to have receipts or expert testimony regarding the valuation of property at issue in the case.
  • Violations of your Constitutional Rights, which could lead to a dismissal of your case.

When the police and prosecutors won't cut you a break, we fight to attack all gaps in the evidence.


You need an attorney who will fully prepare for trial while working behind the scenes to negotiate the best possible result for your case. In appropriate circumstances, you may be eligible for diversionary programs and charge reductions, including:

  • Rule 586 Settlement: Paying restitution to the alleged victim for a withdrawal of your charges before the magistrate or the Court of Common Pleas.
  • Dismissal of charges at the Magisterial District Court.
  • Withdrawal of Retail Theft charges for completion of classes.
  • Reduction of misdemeanor and felony theft charges to a summary offense, stopping the case at district court.
  • ARD program entry for first-time offenders, providing opportunity to expunge the charges from your record.
  • Favorable Early Disposition Program (EDP) plea at Pittsburgh Municipal Court;
  • Not Guilty Verdict

CALL US NOW - 412-447-5580