Many people do not think they can face significant penalties for crimes that cause only property damage, but that is not true. Property crimes and vandalism are serious crimes. If you or someone you love are facing these crimes, then you need to seek legal assistance.
At Stewart, Murray and Associates Law Group, we understand this area of law and are ready to step in on your behalf. We will investigate the charges against you and form a defense strategy in the hopes of getting your charges reduced or dismissed. When you need a Washington County vandalism attorney, call us today.
What Are Property Crimes?
Property crimes are not victimless crimes, which is why they are taken so seriously by Pennsylvania.
What exactly are property crimes?
Property crimes include various different scenarios. Some of them involve damage to another person’s property, but a defendant can also face property crimes even if there is no malicious intent involved. Some examples of property crimes include:
The penalties for property crimes vary widely. Even minor charges can lead to jail time. Major charges often see a defendant facing years in prison and significant financial penalties, including restitution.
Possible penalties, in order of severity from least severe to most severe, include:
- Summary offense – up to 90 days in jail and fines of up to $300.
- Third-degree misdemeanor – up to one year in jail and fines up to $2,000.
- Second-degree misdemeanor – up to two years in jail and fines up to $5,000.
- First-degree misdemeanor – up to five years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
- Third-degree felony – up to seven years in prison and fines up to $15,000.
- Second-degree felony – up to 10 years in jail and fines up to $25,000.
- First-degree felony – up to 20 years in jail and fines up to $25,000.
It is important to note that all of these penalties say “up to” for both jail time and fines. This means that there is discretion when it comes to sentencing. Also, know that a court can sentence someone with both incarceration and fines or one or the other. A skilled attorney will work towards reducing charges AND get their client on the lower end of possible punishments.
If You Are Facing Charges
As you can see from the list above, property crimes can result in serious incarceration time and fines. The first phone call you make after being charged with a property crime is to a knowledgeable and experienced defense attorney. At Stewart, Murray and Associates Law Group, you can count on having a team at your back that will work to investigate the charges against you and formulate a defense strategy.