Colorado Springs Property Crimes Attorney
Property crimes refer to any criminal violation resulting in the theft or destruction of another person’s property. Ranging from petty theft to burglary to arson, property crimes may lead to serious penalties for people who are convicted.
Theft is the first major type of property crime. It is simply defined as taking something that doesn’t belong to you without any intention of ever returning the item or items. Furthermore, theft is a broad category of crimes and each specific offense is typically classified by how much was stolen or whether any aggravating factors were involved. Aggravating factors can include the use of a deadly weapon or violence.
Petty theft, in Colorado, is generally any theft of property under the amount of $500 while grand larceny is any theft of property over the amount of $500. Another type of theft is shoplifting.
Shoplifting is actually a version of petty theft. It is specific to the items taken by the defendant from each store. Each of the elements of petty theft from above are still applicable to shoplifting, with some additional particulars.
The shoplifter doesn’t actually need to have left the store without paying for the items to commit shoplifting. Even the slightest movement that’s consistent with the intention to steal is sufficient. Just placing an item under your clothing and hiding it inside another item constitutes theft.
The willingness of a shoplifter to pay for the item after being apprehended by the police is still not enough to defeat a shoplifting charge. As long as the person intended to take the item without paying at the time, they are deemed to have shoplifted.
In Colorado, the removal or alteration price tags can be construed as shoplifting. Such acts illustrate the intention to take money from the merchant.
While it’s often thought of as solely a theft crime, burglary refers to breaking and entering with the purpose of committing any crime. It could be a home or business premise and the law is designed to protect individuals from unlawful entry, even if there was nothing stolen.
Another important aspect of burglary is that the perpetrator must have had the intent of committing a crime. So, it thus means that while their attempts might have been thwarted, they can still be prosecuted and convicted.
Another key aspect of the crime of burglary is that breaking and entering doesn’t necessarily have to involve physical force. While it could mean that a lock was picked or a window broken, it could also imply that one of the inhabitants was blackmailed or threatened into allowing the burglar into the property.
Vandalism and arson are two other types of property damage that don’t involve theft.
Arson refers to the burning of a business or home. The crime is always charged as a felony because there’s always the possibility of someone getting injured. Even if the building was completely empty, the fire can spread to surrounding areas leading to property damage and loss of life.
Arson is a very serious charge in all U.S. states whether it is committed for insurance purposes, out of revenge, or for any other reason.
Vandalism is another crime focusing on property destruction in varying degrees. From graffiti to egging to keying a car, any offender could be facing the real possibility of massive fines and perhaps even jail time.
These are just a few of the many property crimes possible.
If you were charged with a property crime of any type, your first step should be to contact an experienced Colorado Springs criminal lawyer.
No matter how hopeless you might believe your case to be, having the right lawyer on your side could make all the difference in the outcome of your case.
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