Property Crimes Attorney in Westchester County, New York
Being convicted of a property crime can carry penalties you’ll have to bear for the rest of your life. If you are convicted of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, or arson, aside from the harm it does to you and your family personally (including smearing your reputation, court appearances, fines, and potentially jail time), it may be hard to find an employer that will trust you around someone else’s investment. That is why it is so important to retain legal counsel, to help you create and implement the best defense strategy possible, and hopefully mitigate the harm caused by the crime.
Contact our Westchester property crimes defense lawyer for your free consultation.
Definition of a Property Crime
Property crimes include several offenses that fall under the general umbrella. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) states that property crimes include: “the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft and arson.” The FBI characterizes the crimes as gaining an advantage of sorts, generally monetarily, but there is no “force or threat of force against the victim.”
Burglary – Illegally entering a building with the intent of committing a crime therein. Also includes breaking and entering, whether physical (forcing a window open) or through fraud or deceit.
Larceny-Theft – As a general rule, larceny is essentially non-violent theft, achieved by any means.
Motor Vehicle Theft – When a vehicle is taken without the consent of the owner.
Arson – Intentionally setting a property on fire.
Property Crime Statistics
The FBI Universal Crime Report lists findings for crimes on the national level. According to their research, more than 7,993,631 property crimes were committed in the United States in 2015, a decrease of 2.6 percent compared to 2014. Larceny-Theft was the most common property crime, accounting for 71.4 percent; burglary was 19.8 percent of the property crime total, and motor vehicle theft was 8.9 percent.
Total losses were estimated at $14.3 billion. Broken down by category, there were 1,579, 527 burglaries; 706,346 cases of larceny-theft; and 707,758 cases of motor vehicle theft. In addition, the Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that in 2015, there were 23,000 cases of arson involving structures, accounting for $4 million in property damage, and 10,000 cases of intentionally set motor-vehicle fires.
In New York State, the FBI reports 317,529 total property crimes in 2015. There were 44,276 burglaries; 257,940 cases of larceny-theft; and 15,313 motor vehicles were stolen.
Consequences of Property Crimes
Punishments for property crimes vary greatly in New York depending on several different factors. Perhaps the most significant factor is the value of the property in question.
For example, criminal possession in the fifth degree is classified as a Class A misdemeanor, which could result in imprisonment for up to one year. However, once the value of allegedly stolen or damaged property exceeds $1,000, the offense becomes criminal possession in the fourth degree, which is a Class E felony, which could result in up to four years in prison.
Generally, the value of the property corresponds to the severity of punishment, but property value is one of many criteria used to determine penalties. The type of property is also a factor. If the property in question is a credit card, firearm, or motor vehicle, a property crime is typically considered a felony.
These are just some of the considerations New York makes regarding property crimes. The criminal record of the accused and the circumstances surrounding an alleged crime also play a role in the penalties given.
Contact Our Property Crime Defense Lawyers, Today!
The penalties for property crimes can be harsh, so it’s important for anyone accused of these crimes to quickly retain the services of a criminal defense attorney. An attorney will intervene on your behalf to deal with the authorities and immediately start building a defense in your case. If you or a loved one has been arrested or charged with a property crime in New York, contact the Law Office of Michael D. Littman.
Since 2014, the Law Office of Michael D. Litman has been representing the criminal defense needs of the citizens of White Plains, Westchester County, and the New York Metro area. We have the knowledge and the experience to help with all your criminal defense needs.
For questions or to set up a consultation, contact us online or call us.