There are several categories of property crimes in LA, and our criminal defense attorneys at Simmrin Law Group are experienced in defending them. Whether the charge that you are facing involves wrongfully entering the property of someone else or destroying the property of someone else, our property crimes lawyers are here to help. We are also available for charges that involve illegally taking property that does not belong to you.
In Los Angeles, and throughout the state, trespassing is usually charged as a minor “infraction” that results in a small fine. However, there are situations in which a person can be charged with criminal trespassing, which is much more serious.
Criminal trespassing occurs when a person enters the property of someone else with the intent to:
- Interfere with the property
- Damage the property
Though a verbal threat can aggravate the charge, typical trespassing charges are brought when a person refuses to leave property when asked, when a person is trying to disrupt a business operation, or when a person is “squatting” or illegally occupying a location.
It should be noted that trespassing can be charged even if the actual interference or damage does not occur. It is the intent that is important, but intent can be very difficult to prove in court. Our property crimes lawyers at Simmrin Law Group can help you devise the appropriate defenses to these charges, including:
- You were allowed on the premises.
- No actual interference or damage occurred.
- You did not intend to interfere or damage property.
Trespassing has its own penalties, but it also can be included in the more serious charge of burglary.
Burglary can be considered a more serious version of criminal trespassing, and the two are often charged together. However, burglary has two main components:
- Entering another person’s property.
- Intending to commit a crime on another person’s property.
The crime that is intended during a burglary can be either petty theft or felony burglary, and the two options come with different penalties. While the petty theft version of burglary may lead to a maximum of one year in county jail, felony burglary can involve up to 6 years in prison as well as convicted felon status, up to $10,000 in fines, and a strike toward the “three-strikes” law.
As with criminal trespassing, one of the key components of a burglary charge in Los Angeles is intent. Since this can be difficult for prosecutors to prove, our Los Angeles property crimes lawyers at Simmrin Law Group can work to challenge the prosecution’s case. Some common defenses of burglary include:
- Lack of evidence
- Problematic evidence that must be excluded
- Mistaken identity
- The property you intended to take was actually your own property.
Crimes Involving the Destruction of Property
Destroying property that does not belong to you can be a serious offense in Los Angeles. However, our property crimes lawyers at Simmrin Law Group have plenty of experience dealing with these charges. The two main forms of this charge are ARSON and VANDALISM.
At Simmrin Law Group, our LA property crimes lawyers have extensive knowledge of arson charges. Almost always charged as a felony offense, arson can come in two forms:
- Malicious Arson (which is always a felony)
- Reckless Burning (which, occasionally, can be a misdemeanor)
The difference between the two charges, which are spelled out in the California Penal Code, is that malicious arson involves the intent to defraud a person, harm or kill them, or purposefully destroy their property. This is the more serious charge, and it can result in up to 14 years in prison as well as high fines and a permanent convicted felon status. With such harsh punishment at stake, your best option is to contact an experienced Los Angeles property crimes lawyer like those we have at Simmrin Law Group.
Vandalism can involve the stereotypical spray paint can, but the charge can include a variety of other activities as well. For example, a charge of vandalism in Los Angeles can result from:
- Keying a car
- Writing messages in wet cement
- Egging a house
A charge of vandalism can result from defacing, destroying, or damaging property that does not belong to you, and the law can be interpreted very loosely. For this reason, it is best to have a knowledgeable Los Angeles property crimes lawyer from Simmrin Law Group on your side who can challenge the charge on numerous grounds. Being convicted of vandalism is not ideal, as it can result in the following penalties:
- Minimum: up to $1,000 fine and community service
- Maximum: 3 years in state prison, fines, suspended driver’s license, community service
Contact Our Los Angeles Property Crimes Lawyers for FREE
Property crimes can carry hefty penalties, but many of the charges require clear intent to be proven in court. At Simmrin Law Group, our property crimes lawyers have experience challenging all the elements of a case in order to have the charges dropped or lowered to lesser penalties.
If you are charged with a property crime, contact our Los Angeles property crimes lawyers today for a FREE consultation to discuss your case. Simply fill out the form to the right of the page or call us at (310) 997-4688.