The term “property crime” seems straightforward, but it constitutes a number of different offenses. In fact, the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program found that last year there were approximately 7.9 million property crimes reported in America.
When a property crime happens, a violation of person’s right to their possession takes place. It also involves the destruction of someone else’s property. This could be a business or private residence.
Because of the wide range of offenses under the umbrella of this crime, an individual may wonder why they’ve been charged with a property crime. San Antonio criminal defense lawyers can help you understand the charges and inform you of your rights.
To help you out, let’s look at some of the primary types of property crimes.
Burglary is the illegal or unauthorized entry into a residence or business with the intent to commit a crime. Many people confuse this with robbery. However, during a burglary, no force is used and fear is not instilled in others.
Trespassing without causing damage can still be considered burglary. Also referred to as larceny, this is the most common property crime in the state of Texas.
When a person damages or defaces private or public property, they’ve committed vandalism. The crime is also referred to as criminal damage or malicious mischief.
Typical vandalism offenses include graffiti, breaking windows or causing damage to mailboxes. Depending on the severity of the damage caused during vandalism, the charge results in either Class A, B, or C misdemeanors. San Antonio criminal defense lawyers will know the best course of action for each level.
Another common Texas property crime is shoplifting, which involves the theft of merchandise from a retail establishment. This is a less severe property crime, but shouldn’t be taken lightly.
If you’ve been charged with shoplifting, you need to contact San Antonio criminal defense lawyers.
This is the burning of any type of property, whether a building or piece of land. If any type of bodily injury occurs as a result of the arson, the charges are much more severe. The charges are also more severe if the intent was for fraudulent insurance purposes.
In the state of Texas, law enforcement officers act as arson investigators after being commissioned by the State Fire Marshall. Because of the intensity of the damage usually caused in arson cases, the state goes to great lengths to investigate them thoroughly.
Robbery differs from burglary in that injury or threat of injury takes place at the time of the theft. This includes imparting fear of either injury, death, or both.
Use of a deadly weapon during a burglary results in a charge of aggravated robbery. This is a very severe offense.
Contact San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you’ve been charged with a property crime, it’s important you take immediate action. A criminal defense attorney will guide you through the legal process and help you understand your rights. Don’t risk possible jail time or long probation sentencing by trying to handle the case yourself.
Contact The Law Offices of Roland J. Garcia today if you’ve been charged with a property crime in San Antonio.