Every property crime case is, as are the appropriate defenses for them. If you face property crime charges, you must select the best defense. A West Covina property crimes lawyer from Simmrin Law Group can help position you for a desirable outcome in your criminal case.
There Is a Range of Different Property Crimes
“Property crimes” is a broad classification of unlawful behaviors that includes any action that involves vandalizing, stealing, destroying, or otherwise controlling another person’s property without permission.
If people are harmed when someone commits these actions, other charges may also be applied to the offender. Fortunately, being charged does not automatically mark someone as guilty – a property crimes lawyer in West Covina can still help you maintain your innocence if you act now.
For a free legal consultation with a property crimes lawyer serving West Covina, call (310) 928-9347
Felony Property Crimes vs. Misdemeanor Property Crimes
Property crimes are known as “wobblers.” This means suspected offenders can be charged with either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances of the crime and the prosecutor’s discretion. Although minor crimes are more likely to be charged as misdemeanors, factors like previous offenses can result in them being charged as felonies.
West Covina Property Crimes Lawyer Near Me (310) 928-9347
Property Crimes Have Several Degrees
The degree of a criminal charge dictates the level of penalties that will be applied if a conviction occurs. There are three degrees for property crimes:
First-degree offenses always carry the most substantial penalties, while third-degree crimes carry the least. The degree applied to your offense typically depends on how boldly the authorities suspect you broke the law. This is similar to how misdemeanors and felonies are differentiated; stealing large amounts of property or causing excessive damage increases the odds of someone being charged with a higher-degree offense.
California Property Crimes Penalties
Property crimes can result in severe penalties upon conviction. While these penalties vary depending on the nature of each offense, here are the maximums in California:
- $50,000 maximum fines
- Up to 9 years of incarceration
- Up to 5 years of probation
- Driver’s license suspension, up to 2 years
These penalties can be devastating to one’s overall life in the long term. Do not risk facing the maximum sentence without a fight. A West Covina property crimes lawyer can help you minimize consequences by building a solid defense for your case.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now
Build an Effective Defense
Without legal expertise and litigation experience, your defense will likely fall apart under scrutiny. If you do not have a background in law, get the resources your defense needs by hiring a West Covina property crimes lawyer to defend you. When you employ effective legal counsel, you gain access to the guidance and support you need to present your case with minimal obstacles.
Property Crime Examples
Some suspected offenders get charged with crimes but do not know exactly what those charges imply. These examples of property crimes should help you understand your charges.
Theft involves controlling or stealing someone’s property without being permitted to do so. This category of crimes is broad, and the type of theft you have been charged with will determine which penalties are applied. For example, in California, theft of property worth less than $951 will result in petty theft charges. Theft of higher-value property will more likely lead to grand theft charges.
The different types of theft include:
- Robbery: Using threats or violence to obtain property
- Armed robbery: Using weapons to intimidate or hurt someone to steal their property
- Embezzlement: Stealing property after being trusted to protect that property
- Shoplifting: Stealing property from a retail business
- Auto theft: Stealing a car from another person
Theft charges will not hold unless the prosecutor has reasonable suspicion that you knowingly:
- Took control over another person’s property without them knowing;
- Took another person’s property by using deception;
- Used threats to obtain another person’s property and/or;
- Manipulated stolen property after learning that it was stolen.
The courts deem the intentional setting of fires as unacceptable and completely illegal. You can be charged with arson if you are accused of setting a fire intentionally. The circumstances will dictate whether you face reckless burning or malicious arson charges.
- Reckless burning – These charges are applied when someone sets a fire to excite themselves or as a means of seeking thrills
- Malicious arson – These charges are applied when someone starts a fire to harm someone else, damage or destroy property, or commit fraud against an insurance company.
Charges may be minimized if you prove that you did not intentionally set a fire. There is even a chance of the case being entirely dismissed. If you are worried about your ability to achieve such results on your own, consider retaining a West Covina property crimes lawyer to aid in your defense.
Burglary is a complex property crime that requires offenders to be suspected of trespassing on someone else’s property in order to steal from that location. A burglary charge does not require the offender to have stolen any property. Their having the perceived intent to steal will result in burglary charges.
Burglary charges are often difficult to beat. However, suppose there is evidence that you were present at someone else’s property unlawfully and taking actions that were conducive to theft. In that case, a bonafide defense will be necessary to escape maximum penalties. Do not hesitate to hire a property crimes attorney in West Covina if you know there is evidence that you were at the scene of the crime.
Property Crimes Are a Serious Matter
If you have been charged with a property crime, your freedom and financial security are on the line. This may be stressful for you and your loved ones, but do not let the stress overwhelm you. Instead, take action to minimize your chances of being convicted.
From years of litigating criminal cases, the legal team at Simmrin Law Group has learned that experienced professionals carry out the best legal defenses. Those who choose to defend themselves are always at significant risk of achieving far worse results than if they had relied upon an attorney.
Contact an Attorney for Help
We take property crimes seriously, and so should you. To get in touch with our West Covina property crimes attorney, contact us for a free consultation immediately.