While many people view property crimes as a less serious offense than violent crimes, the legal system in Pennsylvania tends to disagree. Property crimes—forms of vandalism, arson, trespassing—can result in serious consequences and sometimes even felony charges. While committing a property crime may not be a direct act of violence, the potential for damages and injury are high. As does Pennsylvania law, you should take any property crime charges with a high level of seriousness.
If you are facing property crime charges, you should not hesitate in reaching out to a Allegheny County property crimes attorney. An experienced attorney will work to build a strong defense in order to get your charges reduced or cleared. Attorneys at Stewart, Murray, and Associates (SMA) Law Group will utilize their vast knowledge of Pennsylvania law and experienced with property crime cases to mount an aggressive defense. Working with SMA Law Group may be the best way to increase your chances of receiving reduced or cleared charges.
Property Crimes in Pennsylvania
There are many potential property crimes that can be committed in Pennsylvania . Depending on the severity of damage and injury, you may be facing a wide range of potential punishment. Some common forms of property crimes include the following:
There are many potential offenses that may result in a vandalism charge. In Pennsylvania, the two most common serious vandalism charges are agricultural and institutional vandalism. Agricultural vandalism charges arise from damaging or defacing property used for agricultural purposes, including mechanical farming equipment, farmer’s crops or livestock.
Institutional vandalism includes damaging public properties such as religious centers, educational, government, or recreational buildings. The consequences for institutional or agricultural vandalism can range from a graded misdemeanor to a felony charge depending on the damage done.
In Pennsylvania, the two most serious forms of trespassing are criminal and defiant trespassing. Criminal trespassing occurs when you enter a property without permission with criminal intent. Defiant trespassing occurs when you ignore verbal or posted warnings to not enter premises. Criminal trespassing can have penalties ranging from a summary offense all the way to a felony. A defiant trespassing charge can range from a summary offense to a misdemeanor charge.
As with trespassing and vandalism charges, arson charges can range from summary offenses to felonies depending on the severity. Arson charges stem from starting a fire or explosion in an intended or reckless manner. Arson can result in very serious charges, with extreme examples resulting in felonies of the first degree.