If you’ve been charged with a property crime, don’t delay in speaking with a property crimes lawyer. Property crimes include those offenses that involve theft or damage to property, generally without force or threat of force against the victim or victims. Arson is included in property crimes because it involves the destruction of property, but it may also include force.
The Simmrin Law Group is an established criminal defense law firm in Glendale that specializes in property crimes and can help you build a strong defense. Depending on your individual circumstances, we may be able to get the charges against you reduced, or dropped entirely. And if your case does got to trial, you can rest assured that we will fight for your rights every step of the way. Our goal is to get you the best possible outcome, with little or no time behind bars.
Types of Property Crime
We represent clients charged with a number of property crimes. Many times, if you’re accused with one type of property crime, you may also be charged with another type. For instance, you may be charged with vandalism, but if you were on private property, you may also be charged with trespassing. Each type of property crime has its own potential penalties, and may be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances.
Arson is defined under California Penal Code Section 451 as willfully setting fire to a structure, forested land, or other property. This is considered “malicious arson” where you deliberately set the fire, with malicious intent, such as destroying a building or trying to hurt someone. You can also be charged with malicious arson even if you didn’t actually set the fire yourself, but you helped someone else commit arson. Malicious arson is almost always a felony.
Another type of arson in California is known as “reckless burning.” The Penal Code defines reckless burning the same as arson, except there is no malice involved. Examples of reckless burning might include setting a fire for the thrill of seeing something burn, but without the intent to harm anyone or anything.
Burglary is unlawfully entering someone else’s property with the intent to commit a crime. This could be a room or building of any kind as well as a vehicle. You do not actually have to “break in” or even steal anything to be charged with burglary. If your intent was to steal something or commit a crime, that is all it takes to be convicted.
Residential burglary, or first degree burglary, is always a felony. Commercial burglary of a business in Glendale can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances.
Trespassing means you entered someone’s property without their permission – that could mean simply walking into a neighbor’s yard or walking onto business property after hours. Many times simple trespass is not charged as a crime but as an infraction (similar to a traffic ticket). In this case, you are subject to a fine.
Criminal trespass is a more serious violation that means you entered the property with the intent to interfere or cause damage. You may also be charged with criminal trespass if you refuse to leave the property when asked.
California’s trespassing laws can be confusing. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a property crimes lawyer on your side.
You may think of vandalism as a minor crime, but the state of California takes it very seriously. Vandalism includes everything from the stereotypical spray painting of graffiti to the damage done to construction equipment by an environmental activist.
The California Penal Code Section 594 defines vandalism as doing any of the following to someone else’s property:
- Defacing with graffiti or any other inscribed material Inscribed material includes a drawing, painting, carving, etching, mark or design.
- Damaging it in any way, such as breaking it or dismantling it.
- Completely destroying it.
A vandalism charge can be an infraction, a misdemeanor, or a felony, depending on the severity of the damage done, and the cost of the damage.
If You’ve Been Arrested
Don’t talk to the police.
The police will try and get you talking, get you flustered, and try to get you to admit to something. You are well within your rights to say you want to speak to a property crimes attorney – and then stop talking until you have an attorney at your side.
Never plead guilty.
The District Attorney’s office may offer you a plea deal where they offer you something in exchange for pleading guilty to charges. Never enter a plea without talking to an attorney first. The first offer is usually not the best offer.
Consult with a lawyer.
You may be offered the chance to talk with someone in the public defender’s office. But they are incredibly overworked and may only meet with you for a few minutes before your first court hearing. The Simmrin Law group will meet with you for FREE to discuss your case and help you take the first steps in your defense.
Talk to a Glendale, CA Property Crimes Lawyer for Free
If you or a loved one has been charged with a property crime,you need an experienced property crimes lawyer on your side. Call the Simmrin Law Group in Glendale at 310-997-4688 or use our contact form for a free case evaluation. We’re available to help you 24/7.