Property Crimes Attorneys in Clearwater
Burglary, Vandalism, Arson, & Trespassing
There are many different types of property crimes, and depending on the charges, you may face misdemeanors or felonies. In these situations, it’s important to seek strong legal counsel to fight for your rights and avoid some of the harsh penalties that come with a conviction.
At Bauer Crider Kenny & Parry, our Clearwater criminal defense attorneys have more than 100 years of combined experience in criminal law and the skills and knowledge to navigate the toughest and most complex cases. We fight for your rights in and out of court and pursue the best outcome possible.
The Most Common Property Crimes in Florida
A property crime is any intentional crime that results in the theft or destruction of another person’s property without consent. Between 1992 and 2012, reported property crimes in Florida decreased by 5.9 percent. Because property crimes can be many different types of offenses, punishments can range from misdemeanor to felony charges.
The most common types of property crimes are:
- Criminal mischief and vandalism. Criminal mischief refers to injury or damage caused by another person’s action or inaction. Vandalism refers to a more malicious sort of mischief characterized by reckless or intentional behavior. Depending on the amount of damage that is done, both criminal mischief and vandalism can be classified as a first-degree misdemeanor, second-degree misdemeanor or third-degree felony. Punishments range from 60 days in jail and/or a $500 fine to five years in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.
- Trespassing. Trespassing occurs any time a person enters onto another person’s land or property without permission. Like criminal mischief and vandalism, punishments for trespassing vary depending on the amount of damage done to the property.
- Arson. Arson is the criminal act of deliberately setting a property on fire. Arson in the second or first degree can result in a felony conviction, bringing fines of up to $10,000 and prison time as severe as a life sentence.
- Burglary. Burglary falls under the category of theft and involves entering into a building with the specific intention of committing a crime. A charge of burglary in the second degree can result in a second-degree felony conviction, bringing a prison sentence of up to 15 years and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Armed or aggravated burglary can be charged as a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years or life in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Burglary versus Robbery
The terms “burglary” and “robbery” are used almost interchangeably, but in reality, they describe two different types of crime. Robbery is defined as taking, or attempting to take, another person’s property using intimidation, force or threat. For an event to be robbery, one or more victims must be present at the scene.
Burglary is defined as the unlawful entry of a building for the specific purpose of committing a theft or other felony. A victim does not have to be present for the crime to be considered burglary.
Theft versus Larceny
Generally, theft means taking another person’s property without consent. This is a fairly broad term that encompasses several more specific types of theft including larceny. Larceny is the theft of material property specifically for personal use. Regardless of the charge, you’ll need an experienced Clearwater criminal defense attorney to assist you.
Don’t wait to call Bauer Crider Kenny & Parry to discuss your options. You may also contact us online. We have four conveniently located offices to serve Clearwater, Tampa, St. Pete, and Pinellas, Pasco, and Hillsborough Counties and the surrounding communities.