Crimes of Opportunity in Pennsylvania
When thinking of well-known crimes, such as theft or murder, most people imagine hatred, violence, and intense planning. However, many crimes are not premeditated, making them the result of impulsive bad decisions. Although these crimes may not be as malicious as those that are planned beforehand, they are still punished harshly.
Our Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyers know that people’s actions are often misunderstood. With years of experience in the criminal justice system, we will work tirelessly to help your case reach the best possible outcome.
To find out how you can avoid time behind bars, call (412) 281-2146 today for a free consultation.
Understanding Crimes of Opportunity
Crimes of opportunity are those that are based on impulsive decision making. They are not planned out, nor are they based on a history of violence or crime. Imagine, for example, an unattended car that contains a number of valuable items. A person might walk by, see the items, and decide to break the car’s windows to gain access. In this scenario, the person committing theft did not plan to commit a crime and did not act because of a past filled with criminal activity. They simply saw an opportunity to steal valuables and acted.
Penalties for Crimes of Opportunity
Unfortunately, crimes of opportunity are just as harshly punished as most crimes that are planned out beforehand. The only exceptions are murder and manslaughter, both of which are punished based on whether the crime was premeditated. The consequences of opportunistic crimes can be severe, and often include the following penalties:
- Fines and court fees
- A permanent criminal record
- Loss or denial of a professional license
- Negative effects on immigration
- Inability to find affordable and safe housing
- Difficulty finding a good job
- Ineligibility for student financial aid
Long-Term Impacts of Crimes of Opportunity
In the heat of the moment, a person committing a crime of opportunity may think that their actions will have no long-term impacts. Sadly, this could not be further from the truth. When a person is arrested for a crime and convicted in court, they will suddenly have a criminal record. Even if the crime was minor, a criminal record can cause life-long hardships. Getting a job, for example, might be all but impossible, as many employers refuse to hire those with criminal histories. After being released from custody, a criminal record can also make it difficult to gain access to colleges and universities.
Minors who commit crimes are especially affected by the aftermath of a criminal conviction. In addition to the previously mentioned consequences, a juvenile who commits a crime may be kicked out of school once administrators learn of what has happened. If a minor is required to spend time in a juvenile detention facility, they may sustain mental and emotional injuries that take years to heal.
How Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC Can Protect Your Freedom
Committing a crime based on an impulse can destroy your life. In addition to the creation of a criminal record, familial connections may be strained or lost entirely. The best way to avoid the countless consequences of a criminal conviction is to avoid being found guilty in court.
Our Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyers at understand how difficult these situations can be. We will handle the legal aspects of your case while you focus on remaining calm and comforting your family.
Call (412) 281-2146 now to find out how our team can protect your freedom.