The residents and police department of the city of Chino Hills are proud of their community’s high placement on the FBI’s list of the nation’s safest cities. They are dedicated to keeping that status. As a result, perpetrators of property crimes in the Chino Hills area can expect to face serious charges and consequences.
If you have been charged with a property crime, having an experienced Chino Hills property crimes lawyer defend you is essential. To secure the legal representation you need, contact Simmrin Law Group and speak to a lawyer today.
What to Do Following an Arrest
Whether charged with minor or serious offenses, do not speak with law enforcement about the incident without legal counsel. Your lawyer will protect you from answering questions that could incriminate you or lead to additional charges and from providing details you are not legally required to give. Remember, when police read you your Miranda rights upon arrest, one of those rights is to “remain silent” as “anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.”
When the police question you, they may see you as a witness or as a suspect. They may be unsure about the role you played in the alleged incident, and want your answers to inform their investigation. In those stressful interrogations, it is easy to become confused by questions or say something the “wrong way,” leading to misinterpretation.
To protect yourself right from the start, ask to speak with a property crimes lawyer in Chino Hills from Simmrin Law Group before answering any questions.
For a free legal consultation with a property crimes lawyer serving Chino Hills, call (310) 896-2723
An Explanation of Property Crimes
Crimes involving the theft, damage, destruction, or interference of another person’s property are property crimes. Property crimes do not involve violence, force, or threats against another. Ranging from trespassing to arson, some property crimes are minor and punished with fines, community service, and probation, and others are extremely serious.
Those more serious crimes can lead to years in prison. Offenders may also be required to pay victims restitution. If you are arrested for a property crime, the charges you face will depend on the level of damage your actions caused, your method for committing the crime, the value of the property stolen or damaged, and your criminal history, among others.
The “property” stolen in a property crime is not limited to physical objects. Identity theft, forgery, and creating fraudulent documents are also included under California Property Crimes laws.
Chino Hills Property Crimes Lawyer Near Me (310) 896-2723
Felony Property Crimes
A felony is a crime punishable by more than a year in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
A property crime falls into felony status when the property stolen exceeds $950 in value. However, for acts of vandalism, felony charges can apply when property damage exceeds $400. For damage over $10,000, offenders may face fines of up to $50,000.
Under California PC 594, if an offender “defaces with graffiti or other inscribed material, damages,” or “destroys” another’s property, the offender is guilty of vandalism.
Arson is a particularly serious property crime and usually falls into the felony category. If the act of arson causes great bodily injury (GBI) to another, the offender may be sentenced to nine years in state prison and must register as a lifetime arsonist. If the act of arson causes another’s death, offenders can be charged with murder.
Sometimes, arsonists burn their own property to commit insurance fraud. This offense can bring a sentence of 16 months, two, or three years in state prison, and registration as a lifetime arsonist. Even failed arson attempts can receive these penalties.
Offenders can receive enhanced sentences when:
- The act harms more than one person
- More than one structure is burned
- The act causes GBI to emergency personnel
- The offender has prior arson convictions
When offenders enter a residential property with the intent to commit a crime, they have committed first-degree burglary even if they do not complete their intended crime. If the home is unoccupied, first-degree charges still apply. Two, four, or six-year state-prison sentences are possible sentences for this crime.
Misdemeanor Property Crimes
A misdemeanor is a crime punishable by up to one year in county jail and/or fines not more than $1000.
The value of the property stolen or damaged is a major consideration when applying misdemeanor vs. felony charges. In most cases, shoplifting, acts of petty theft, and acts of trespass are misdemeanors. Sometimes, trespass is even considered an “infraction.”
An infraction is not an actual crime and is punished by a fine up to $250. Second-degree burglary charges, those often given to offenders who enter a non-residential property to commit a crime, generally carry misdemeanor penalties.
Your Chino Hills Property Crimes Lawyer Can Negotiate for Reduced or Dismissed Charges
Many property crime charges fall into the “wobbler” category. This means they can be charged either as felonies or misdemeanors, depending on the specifics of the crime and the offender’s history. If your offense is a wobbler, you need a skilled property crimes attorney in Chino Hills to negotiate for the reduced-offense status.
In negotiations with the prosecution, your lawyer will also:
- Show weaknesses in the prosecution’s case
- Introduce mitigating factors to reduce your charges and/or consequences
- Show your alleged actions do not meet the threshold for felony charges or enhanced sentencing
- Argue for a sentence of probation rather than jail or prison time.
Whatever your situation, your best defense is an experienced, knowledgeable Chino Hills property crimes attorney. As your advocate, your lawyer will protect your rights and fight for a favorable outcome.
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You Need Legal Representation Now
Do not wait to schedule a free consultation with a Chino Hills property crimes lawyer from Simmrin Law Group. Speak to your lawyer before you speak to anyone else.
At Simmrin Law Group, we believe all offenders are entitled to the highest quality defense. We will fight for your fair treatment under the law, making sure one mistake or one false accusation does not leave you with years or a lifetime of consequences.