A property crime can be one of several different crimes with a variety of different penalties attached. According to FindLaw, there are lower level offenses all the way up to higher level felonies. You may even be surprised as to how easily you can face charges of a property crime.
Burglary, for instance, is a charge that only requires you to unlawfully enter the property with the intent to commit criminal acts. You do not have to cause someone any harm or make off with any property. Many people wrongfully believe that there will be no charges if no one faced harm and if you failed to steal anything. This is not true.
Property crimes utilize degrees to establish the seriousness of the crime. The degrees depend on different factors. For instance, if you steal a high-value item or if you use weapons in a theft, then you may have a higher charge. Whenever there is potential for bodily harm or when someone suffers an injury because of the crime, you may face worse penalties.
Specific property crimes include:
While some of these crimes may sound similar and often involve theft, there are differences between crimes. For instance, robbery differs from theft because robbery involves force and a threat. Burglary, on the other hand, involves an unlawful entry into a building or home. The best way to defend against burglary would be to prove a lack of intent or to prove that you still had permission to enter the building. The variety of property crimes creates a variety of defenses.