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Patrick F. Lauer, Jr. LLC

Pennsylvania Criminal Defense

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Law Offices of

Patrick F. Lauer, Jr. LLC

Pennsylvania Criminal Defense

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Home » blog » Properly dealing with mislaid property

Like most in Camp Hill, you likely never envisioned being in a position where you could potentially be charged with a crime. Many believe it to be impossible to inadvertently commit an offense, yet if you are unfamiliar with the law, that is always a possibility. Many have come to us here at the Law Offices of Patrick F. Lauer, Jr. LLC having found themselves the subject of criminal scrutiny without ever displaying any sort in intent to commit a crime. Possession of mislaid property is one such scenario that they are often facing. If you too have been charged with the same offense, knowledge of local laws regarding the theft of such property is vital in answering the accusations being leveled against you. 

When you find something that you believe to be lost, there is only so much you can do to try and return it to its owner. In the absence of someone to claim it, you may reasonably believe that it knows belongs to you. When that item is something of value, it may be easy for many to assume that you simply kept it without trying to find the person or party that it belongs to. Your actions immediately after having found said item should serve to clarify your intent. 

Per Pennsylvania’s Consolidated Statutes, you are only guilty of theft if, after having found lost or mislaid items, you retain it with the intent to deprive its rightful owner of it. Any reasonable action you take to return it to its owner (whether it be to tell the owner of the property on which it was found about it), signal an effort on your part to try to return it. 

You can learn more about answering criminal accusations by continuing to explore our site.