Those charged with a property crime are not always guilty of committing the crime they are charged with. Someone can be charged with a more serious crime even though the facts do not meet the elements of such a crime. It is important to know your rights and prove your innocence.
Theft and related property crimes can tarnish your record and prevent you from obtaining meaningful employment or advancing in your career. A Burbank property crimes attorney understands that such charges can have serious consequences for one’s future.
Types of Property Crimes in California
Property crimes can refer to two types of criminal offenses in California (1) theft-related violations and (2) non-theft-related violations. Vandalism, trespass, and arson are examples of non-theft-related violations. Larceny, burglary, and robbery are common theft-related property crimes.
Vandalism is defined in California Penal Code 594 as the malicious commission of any of the following acts under the code with respect to any real or personal property. Defacing, destroying, or damaging someone else’s home or building are examples of vandalism. According to California law, the penalties include jail time and fines, depending on the extent of the damage.
California statute 602 defines the crime of trespass. One will commit the property crime of trespass if they enter or remain on another person’s property without their permission or right. Most of those charged with Trespass will be charged with a misdemeanor. Trespass is typically only committed if one enters or remains on someone else’s property willfully without a right to do so or without the consent of the property owner.
Arson, a potentially lethal crime, is a serious, violent felony offense punishable by state prison time under Section 451 of the California Penal Code. Arson is committed when a person willfully and maliciously sets fire to any structure, property, or forest land. Arson can be either a misdemeanor or felony charge depending on the degree of Arson and whether it was reckless or malicious.
Larceny is more commonly referred to as theft, which is then divided into two degrees: petty theft and grand theft. California penal code Section 484 defines petty theft as the wrongful taking of someone else’s property valued under $950.00. As expected, grand theft is the same but for property taken over $950.00. There are certain types of theft that will be grand theft regardless of the value of the property. Stealing a firearm is a prime example of a crime that will be grand theft regardless of the monetary assignment.
Burglary, as defined by California Penal Code Statue 459, is entering into a structure, dwelling, or locked automobile with the intent to commit larceny or another criminal offense therein. Many think that burglary is only committed through breaking and entering. However, burglary can be committed even without forced entry. Additionally, even if nothing is taken, one can be charged with burglary if they entered a structure with the intent. As long as there was intent to commit a crime, then burglary can be charged.
California Penal Code Section 211 defines robbery as the use of threat or force to take someone else’s property against their will. To be guilty of robbery, one must have made the decision to commit the crime prior to taking the property. Robbery is classified as a felony in the first and second degrees.
California Penal Code Section 212.5 lists the types of robbery that fall under first- or second-degree. Robbery differs from larceny because robbery involves force.
For a free legal consultation with a property crimes lawyer serving Burbank, call (310) 928-9347
Property Crime: Felony vs. Misdemeanor
Depending on the gravity of the allegation, a crime can be categorized as a misdemeanor or a felony. Misdemeanors are less serious than felonies and result in less severe penalties. Typical penalties include a year or less in jail, community service, financial penalties, rehabilitation, and/or probation.
Felonies, on the other hand, carry a minimum sentence of one year in prison to as much as life in prison or face the death penalty in some states. Common examples of property crimes in California that will generally be charged as a misdemeanor:
- Petty theft
Then, there are certain property crimes in California that are “wobbler” crimes, which means they can be either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances, and those include:
- Second-degree burglary
- Grand theft
The only property crime that will usually be charged as a felony, regardless of the degree, is robbery. Felonies and misdemeanors have different legal procedures. A misdemeanor requires that the charged party appear in front of a judge rather than a jury.
A felony requires one to appear at an indictment or preliminary trial, and then possibly face a jury trial.
Burbank Property Crimes Lawyer Near Me (310) 928-9347
What Does a Property Crimes Defense Attorney Do?
A property crime defense attorney can help a person reduce or dismiss charges by utilizing a variety of possible defenses. This can help to lessen the impact of a property crime on a person’s life and future. Mistakes and misrepresentations happen, which is why this is a common and deplorable defense in a property crime charge.
Additionally, property crimes lawyers in Burbank can use a defense that destroys the prosecution’s case by showing the prosecution has not met its burden under the law. It is always in the prosecution’s hand to show the defendant’s charges met all elements of the crime. In property crimes, it is common to get charges lessened or dropped because the prosecution is not able to show all parts of the crime.
Contacting a property crimes attorney in Burbank after committing a crime or being charged with a crime is very important. The sooner one seeks legal representation, the sooner the lawyer can start working on the case and gathering evidence to build a defense.
Hiring a Burbank Property Crimes Lawyer
If you are charged with a property crime, it is critical that you have an experienced criminal defense attorney looking out for your interests and making sure you understand your rights.
Contact our Burbank Property Crimes lawyers today for a free consultation. Give us a call or fill out our online form.