Property crimes are offenses related to the destruction or theft of property that belongs to someone else. The penalties for a conviction depend greatly on how severe the offense is.
If you have been charged with a property crime, turn to an experienced criminal defense attorney for guidance. We’ll give you advice to help you get through the legal process, clear your name and move on with your life.
Someone convicted of shoplifting is likely to receive a lesser penalty than someone convicted of burglary, for example. For this reason, it’s important that you work with a skilled attorney—he or she will make sure your rights are protected and that you have the best chance of reducing or being cleared of your charge. The property crimes attorneys at Wilson & Reives have experience defending people accused of burglary, arson, theft, vandalism and other property crimes.
What is property crime?
The property crimes category includes a wide range of offenses:
Shoplifting is when someone takes or conceals merchandise from a retailer and does not intend to pay for the merchandise. In North Carolina, shoplifting is classified as larceny of goods. Larceny is when someone intentionally takes property without the owner’s permission. Shoplifting is usually a misdemeanor, but it can be charged as a felony in some circumstances.
North Carolina also has a misdemeanor concealment charge related to shoplifting. If you conceal merchandise, you can be charged with misdemeanor concealment even if you never leave the store.
North Carolina statutes use the term larceny instead of theft to describe the unlawful taking of someone else’s property. The prosecutor must be able to prove that you intended to deprive the other person of ownership, or else the charges may be dismissed.
Burglary refers to breaking into a structure with the intent to take property or commit another crime.
Vandalism charges are related to the destruction or defacement of someone else’s property. Dumping paint on someone’s car or spray-painting obscenities on someone’s house are examples of vandalism.
People often confuse burglary with robbery, but there are differences between the two. Robbery is when someone takes property from another person by using force or threatening to use force. An example would be threatening to hurt a homeowner’s wife unless he turns over the expensive watch he is wearing.
Call (919) 775-5653 or contact us and set up a consultation to speak with one of our experienced property crimes attorneys about your case.
How can you defend yourself against a property crimes charge?
Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, you should hire a qualified property crimes attorney right away. If you don’t have legal experience, it can be very difficult to understand what is going on with your case. Your attorney will explain the charges against you, help you understand any documents you receive from the court, and develop the best possible defense strategy for you.
There are several possible defenses for this type of charge. Your property crimes attorney will review the facts of your case and determine which defense strategy will make the most sense.
If, for example, you accidentally left a store with an item on the bottom of your shopping cart, your attorney may be able to show that you did not intend to steal the merchandise.
In another example, if you thought you had permission to take someone else’s property, your property crimes attorney may use that information as a defense against a larceny charge.
How much does it cost to seek legal representation?
Your initial consultation with a property crimes attorney is one of the most important meetings you will ever have. At Wilson & Reives, we make it easy for you to get the help you need.
When you meet with one of our property crimes attorneys, you’ll have an opportunity to explain your side of the story and find out what your next step should be.
If you have been accused of a property crime, turn to someone you can trust. The property crimes attorneys at Wilson & Reives are ready to build your defense.