You were caught trying to break into a person’s house. You tried to talk your way out of the situation by saying you accidentally went to the wrong house, but the owner wasn’t buying your story. Now, you’re facing an arrest and possible charges based on their claims.
There are many kinds of property crimes. Many of them are nonviolent, but some are violent in nature. These crimes are so varied that it would be hard to discuss them all individually, but you can group specific criminal acts into one of the recognized property crime categories.
Property crimes are classified into one of five categories below:
Violent crimes use physical force to take another person’s property. Fraudulent crimes use deception to obtain property illegally. Destructive property crimes damage or destroy other people’s property. Entrepreneurialism refers to crimes that result in the illegal manufacturing, giving, receiving, buying or selling of property. Finally, stealth property crimes are nonviolent, nonfraudulent and nonconsensual. During stealth crimes, the property owner is absent.
Is there any reason to care about the categorization of a property crime?
Of course. Someone who steals a car but involves no one else in the theft may receive a lighter sentence than someone who breaks into a home and threatens a family with a gun, for example. The charges you face will depend on the kind of crime you committed, too. A stealth crime might result in an auto theft charge, while a destructive property crime could be categorized more specifically as arson or vandalism.
No matter what kind of property crime you’re accused of committing, it’s important that you protect yourself against the charges. Charges can vary based on the elements of your case and the specifics of what took place, so your attorney will work with you to attempt to reduce or eliminate the charges against you.