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Although property crimes charges do not have the same stigma as violent crimes against persons, they can still be life-chaning. Depending on the circumstances, property crimes can be charged as a "strike" felony.
In addition, the judge can order that you pay restitution for damaged or stolen property, even if the property was insured. A certified criminal law specialist like Robert F. Landheer will fight to have the charges against you reduced or dismissed altogether.
Types of Theft
Petit "Petty" Theft
Taking another person's property without permission and intending to keep the property is a theft. Theft is divided into two degrees, the first of which is termed grand theft; the second, petty theft. Theft is a crime of moral turpitude that can affect your ability to obtain citizenship and certain jobs.
Taking another person's car without permission, even for a short trip, can be felony auto-theft. A conviction for auto theft can cause the DMV to suspend or revoke your driver's license. A second conviction is punishable by imprisonment for 2, 3, or 4 years.
Entering into a structure with intent to commit a theft or any felony is a burglary. Burglary of an inhabited structure is first degree burglary and is punishable by imprisonment of 2, 4, or 6 years. Inhabited structures include house boats, trailer coaches, and commercial property adjoined to a residence.
Other Types of Property Damage
Vandalism is intentionally defacing, damaging or destroying property that belongs to another person. If the amount of damage exceeds $400, it can be a misdemeanor or a felony. If the amount of the damage exceeds $10,000, the judge can ordered a fine of up to $50,000.
What Is Restitution?
Restitution is court-ordered payment for damaged or stolen property. If a Defendant does not agree with the amount of restitution requested by the district attorney, the judge will schedule a hearing to determine the restitution amount. An experienced criminal defense attorney can fight to limit the amount of restitution ordered by the judge.