People value their property and hardly take kindly to those trying to steal it. Florida residents may take several steps to protect their homes and vehicles from break-ins and theft. Persons charged with property crimes might find themselves looking at a long list of related charges. And the legal definitions of property crimes may vary.
Property crime charges and their differences
Theft and property crime charges might never involve interactions with others. A person could break into an empty home and leave with someone’s belongings. Damaging a window, entering without permission, and stealing things could lead to charges of burglary, theft, breaking and entering, and more.
Property crimes generally deal with crimes related to inanimate objects and not people. Breaking a window to enter a building illegally could lead to property crime-related charges. Breaking a window for the thrill of vandalism would represent another type of property crime.
Property crimes may result in misdemeanor or felony charges. A person that shoplifts a $5 item would likely face far less serious charges than someone trying to walk away with a $5,000 bracelet. That said, a misdemeanor conviction results in a criminal conviction on someone’s record.
Property crimes that get out of hand
A defendant’s intentions may focus solely on someone’s property, but interactions with others might bring forth further charges. If someone commits arson and assumes no one was inside the house, that person could face serious felony charges if someone was inside and experienced severe burns.
Not all property crime charges have merit, though. A person may face vandalism charges due to a case of mistaken identity or a false accusation.
And some defendants did commit the crime and want to strike a deal. A criminal defense strategy may involve plea bargaining wishes to avoid harsh penalties.
A defense attorney may explain existing charges to a client. The attorney might then speak about possible defense options.