Under Pennsylvania law, property crimes and vandalism may be graded as a summary, misdemeanor, or felony, which means that fines and penalties run anywhere from a very small fine to large fines and long incarcerations. Because of this, property crimes/vandalism attorneys know how important it is for defendants to secure expert criminal defense attorneys in cases of this nature. Good attorneys know the law and will fight for the best possible outcome for their clients which, depending on the circumstances, may include negotiating for reduced charges, arguing for case dismissals, and taking legal avenues to see that defendants avoid criminal records.
Teenagers who often do not understand the seriousness of their actions are frequently involved in vandalism and other property crimes. They then find themselves facing criminal convictions when they thought they were just having some mischievous fun. These cases are difficult because one bad, youthful decision can lead to a lifetime consequence of having a criminal record. Consulting an experienced criminal defense lawyer is very important in these cases to discuss defense options including possible diversion paths to avoid a criminal record.
Types of property crimes
See below for common types of property crimes.
- Arson and related offenses including dangerous burning, failure to report a dangerous fire, and failure to control fire.
- Criminal mischief for damaging or defacing someone else’s property which can be upgraded to a felony in certain circumstances such as causing more than $5,000 in damage or interruption of public service.
- Other property destruction including agricultural vandalism, crop destruction, or illegal disposal of methamphetamine waste.
- Burglary when a person unlawfully enters a building with the intent to commit a crime.
- Another criminal intrusion such as criminal trespass, railroad vandalism, interference with transportation industries, and unlawful use of an unmanned aircraft.
- Robbery involves taking property from a person by force or with the threat of harm or actual harm to the person. Robbery may also involve stealing money from financial institutions.
- Theft of any kind including retail theft, theft by extortion or deception, theft of lost property, theft of trade secrets, or theft from a motor vehicle.
- Forgery such as when a document is altered without proper authority or executing a document purporting to be another person.
- Other fraudulent practices including insurance fraud, identity theft, fraudulent business practices, and defrauding secured creditors.
SMT Legal attorneys
Property crimes expert attorneys at SMT Legal know the laws and are experienced criminal defense attorneys. After reviewing police reports, charges, and facts of your case, they may argue to reduce or dismiss your charges, depending on the circumstances. They may defend you at trial with the goal of a not guilty finding for things like lack of evidence or proof of alibi. When your rights have been violated such as illegal searches or obtaining unlawful confessions, they will fight to have that evidence thrown out which may result in dismissing your case entirely. They will look into all possibilities of avoiding a criminal record through diversion programs.