Types of Property Offenses

Property crimes involve the non-violent action of taking possessions or cash from an individual without lawful right to do so. Generally, these types of crimes are what are called high-volume meaning that the items being stolen are typically very expensive. There are four major groups of property crimes with varying penalties, including the following:

  • Burglary

  • Theft

  • Automobile theft

  • Arson

Breaking and entering into an individual's personal property, retail stores or other facilities and taking anything belonging to someone else qualifies as burglary. With nearly 11,000 burglaries happening in West Virginia alone back in 2010, it is evident that it remains a prominent issue. Penalties related to burglary can result in anywhere from 10-15 years in prison.

Larceny or theft is the most common form of property crime with nearly 29,000 cases in 2010. Most often stolen is cash or electronically through bank account theft. Other items that follow include automotive parts, tools, apparel which can often take place in the form of shoplifting at retail establishments. When it comes to stealing parts from vehicles, the individual will frequently take the entire car and sell the individual pieces on the black market.

Other times motor vehicle theft can occur simply for joyriding purposes or for its functional use as a form of transportation. Laws on larceny whether for property or automobile theft, a convicted individual can pay up to $250,000 in fines and spend anywhere from one to 10 years in a state penitentiary depending on if it qualifies as grand or petit larceny.

Preparing a Defense

When facing property crime charges it can be an unsympathetic process filled with uncertainty. Let the firm of Attorney Frank Walker bring their passion and commitment to your case and assist you in the legal process. Going through a criminal case on your own can prove to be unsatisfactory and will often not provide you with the results you desire. The judge will expect you to be knowledgeable in all the West Virginia laws related to property crime. This can be daunting and nearly impossible without an attorney at your side who has had years of experience. Call our office today for a free case evaluation so that you can get back to living life normally.