Glen Mills, PA asked in Criminal Law for Pennsylvania

Q: If a trash can its out on the curb for pick up can you take the trash or whatever is in it in pa. ?

I got charged with movable theft?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing
  • Wyomissing, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: if an object is next to it the assumption is that it is there for anyone to take. However if trash is in a bag, the presumption is that the homeowner left it there with an expectation of privacy. That doesn't mean it's illegal.

In Pennsylvania the issue is whether you had intent to deprive someone of their movable property. Your defense would be it was there to be taken as much as if the homeowner had left some lumber with the trash, in effect saying "I am done with it, please take it away." You should contact an attorney who handles misdemeanors in the county where you have been charged. Plead not guilty.

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