The most common property crime in the state is larceny or theft, the illegal taking of another’s personal property. Robbery and burglaries happen a little less frequently. If convicted of a property crime, the court could sentence you to a term of imprisonment, fines, probation, community service, parole, and restitution. The penalty would depend on several factors including the severity of the allegations, the value of the property, and whether the charges were for a misdemeanor or felony. It is crucial to retain a lawyer, even for a misdemeanor, to get the best possible outcome and avoid a criminal record that affects your future. If you were charged with a property crime, you should call the seasoned Orange County criminal defense lawyer William M. Weinberg. He has close to 30 years of experience providing legal representation.Defending Property Crimes in Orange County
Property crimes we defend include:
- Receiving Stolen Property
- Larceny or theft
Under California Penal Code section 451, arson is a felony that involves willfully and maliciously burning any structure, property, or forest land. You can face misdemeanor or felony arson charges for setting a fire with reckless or intentional conduct.Robbery
Under California Penal Code section 211, robbery occurs if you take personal property that’s in somebody else’s possession from his person or immediate presence and against his will by inducing fear or using force. First degree felony may be charged if you robbed a driver or passenger in a public vehicle like a bus or someone in an inhabited structure. Under PC section 496, you can face jail time for receiving stolen property or withholding any property you know was stolen or obtained through extortion.
You can face up to 9 years of incarceration for robbery. However, our experienced Orange County attorney may be able to use several different defenses to protect your freedom. These defenses could include:
- Insufficient evidence
- No force or fear
- Honest belief in a right to the property
- False accusation
- Mistaken identity or eyewitness identification.
Burglary can be charged if a prosecutor proves you illegally physically entered into a particular structure or vehicle with the intent of carrying out a felony or petty theft other than shoplifting. You can be charged with burglary so long as you entered and had the required intent, even if the actual crime you intended to commit didn’t occur. There are several different degrees of burglary, which carry sentences that escalate in severity along with the severity of allegations. The most serious type would be first degree burglary, which occurs when the structure into which the defendant enters is inhabited.Theft
Theft occurs whenever something of value is taken without permission. If you steal property or money, the crime would be considered larceny. Theft may also include the act of taking property or money through fraud or false pretenses. The value of the property will determine the severity of the crime. When the property at issue is less than $950, it is considered petty theft. However if the property is valued at more than $950, you could be charged with felony grand theft.
A prosecutor will need to prove that you: (1) took property owned by someone else, (2) you took the property without the owner’s consent, (3) you took the property intending to permanently deprive the property owner or to deprive the owner such that he or she would lose a major portion of the property’s value.Consult a Seasoned Criminal Defense Lawyer
You could face jailtime and fines if you are convicted of a property crime. It is important to seek legal advice from an experienced criminal defense attorney once you realize you are being investigated in Orange County. Legal representation can make a big difference to the outcome of your case. Mr. Weinberg brings nearly 30 years of legal experience to develop a strong defense strategy to protect clients. He is available for a free consultation to talk about the charges and your legal options. Contact him by filling out our online form or by calling his Irvine office at (949) 474-8008.