Property Crimes Attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona
Property crimes may seem like minor offenses but being convicted of a property crime — even a minor crime — can wreak havoc on your future. While you can certainly recover from a misdemeanor conviction for a minor property crime, you will have a criminal record that has the potential to haunt you.
Some employers, college admissions offices, and landlords, among other institutions and entities that may take a look at your criminal history will forgive a minor misdemeanor conviction. While the fear of not knowing what damage a misdemeanor conviction can do is stressful enough to cope with, a felony conviction carries even greater penalties that are long-lasting.
If you are facing a criminal charge involving a property crime such as vandalism, trespassing, arson, or theft, you have legal rights that deserve protection. At Faussette & Faussette, our Phoenix criminal defense lawyers are advocates who make every effort to ensure their clients have a fair chance to fight criminal charges. Serving the greater Phoenix area, our team is ready to provide you with an initial case evaluation.
Understanding Property Crimes
Under Arizona law, there are numerous property crimes that range in severity from minor misdemeanors that carry little to no prison time to serious felonies that result in decades of prison time in addition to fines, restitution, and other penalties. Property crimes involve a wide range of conduct, each of which is its own crime.
A few examples of property crimes in Arizona include, among others:
Criminal Damage (Vandalism) — Pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) Section 13-1602, criminal damage is the act of recklessly defacing or damaging the property of another person. Penalties range from a Class 2 misdemeanor to a Class 4 felony, depending on the value of the property at issue.
Criminal Trespass — Pursuant to ARS Sections 13-1502 to 13-1504, criminal trespass is the act of knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully on any real property and/or in or on a residential or commercial structure. Depending on the severity of the crime, criminal trespass ranges from a Class 3 misdemeanor to a Class 5 felony.
Arson — Pursuant to ARS Section 13-1702, reckless burning (which is a Class 1 misdemeanor) is the act of recklessly causing a fire or explosion that results in damage to a structure. Pursuant to ARS Section 13-1703, arson of a structure or property is the act of knowingly and unlawfully damaging a structure or property by knowingly causing a fire or explosion. Depending on the dollar value of the damage, arson of a structure or property ranges from a Class 1 misdemeanor to a Class 4 felony. Pursuant to ARS Section 13-1704, arson of an occupied structure is the act of knowingly and unlawfully damaging an occupied structure by knowingly causing a fire or explosion. This type of arson — the most severe type — is a Class 2 felony.
Burglary — Pursuant to ARS Sections 13-1506 to 13-1508, burglary is the act of entering a residential or commercial structure (or fenced residential or commercial yard) with the intent of committing a felony, usually theft. The charges for burglary range from a Class 2 felony to a Class 4 felony, with the Class 2 felony being more serious.
Theft — Pursuant to ARS Section 13-1802, theft is the act of knowingly and unlawfully controlling another party’s property with the intent to deprive the other party of the property. Like trespass, arson, and burglary, theft crimes range in type and severity. The greater the value of the property at issue, the more severe the crime, ranging from a Class 1 misdemeanor to a Class 2 felony.
Overall, property crimes become more severe as the value of the property in question increases. Jail time is all but a certainty if you are convicted of a felony. In some cases, being convicted of a misdemeanor may land you in jail. As such, regardless of how minor you believe a property charge is, acting quickly to speak with a Phoenix criminal defense attorney is a good idea.
Get Help From an Attorney
If you are currently facing property crime charges, you may rightfully feel uncertain about what to expect in the coming days, weeks, and months. You certainly have the choice to work with a public defender. While many public defenders are excellent attorneys, they have limited resources, and may not be able to devote sufficient time to each client’s case. Choosing to work with a criminal defense attorney with the experience, resources, dedication, and advocacy skills provides you with the legal representation you deserve.
By seeking the guidance of an attorney, you will learn whether you have any potential defenses to the property crime charges you’re facing. Whether you are guilty or not, you still have legal rights. If law enforcement officers violated your legal rights during the arrest process, grounds may exist to have the criminal charges against you dismissed. A qualified criminal defense attorney can evaluate your situation and determine a course of action to fight the charges.
Property Crimes Attorneys Serving Phoenix, Arizona
If you have been charged with property crimes, you need to have a full understanding of your rights and legal options. At Faussette & Faussette, our team represents the rights of individuals in and around Phoenix, Glendale, Peoria, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, and Goodyear, Arizona. To schedule an initial consultation to discuss your criminal matter, reach out to us today.