Property Crimes Defense
Houston Property Crimes Lawyers :: The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp
Property crimes such as criminal mischief and vandalism are serious criminal offenses in the state of Texas. A property crime can result in a criminal record, financial penalties and incarceration time. A criminal suspect should never wait until they are charged with a property offense to consult with a Houston property crimes attorney. An effective defense lawyer specializes in protecting the legal rights of a defendant and requiring the prosecution to prove every element of a criminal case.
Crimes Against Property
The Texas Penal Code defines and prohibits many types of criminal offenses against public or private property. The following types of criminal behavior are subject to criminal prosecution:
- Theft crimes such as burglary or petty theft
- Criminal trespassing
- Reckless destruction or damage
- Check fraud
- Credit card fraud
Penalties for Offenses Against Property
The penalties a convicted person will face depend on their previous criminal history, where the crime was committed and the value of the belongings that were damaged or destroyed. If the crime involved the use of a weapon, inflicted serious bodily injury or resulted in death, the available penalties can be quite severe. A conviction could result in one of the following penalties:
- Class C misdemeanor: A fine of no more than $500
- Class B misdemeanor: Up to six months in jail and a fine of no more than $2,000
- Class A misdemeanor: Up to one year in jail and a fine of no more than $4,000
- State jail felony: Six months to two years in state jail and a fine of no more than $10,000
- Third-degree felony: Two to 10 years in prison and a fine of no more than $10,000
- Second-degree felony: Two to 20 years in prison and a fine of no more than $10,000
- First-degree felony: Five years to life in prison and a fine of no more than $10,000
Legal Defenses for Crimes Against Property
The prosecution must prove that a defendant had knowledge of or intended to commit the alleged offense. This legal standard is quite subjective. A veteran property crimes attorney will thoroughly investigate the circumstances and design an effective defense strategy. It may be possible to negotiate a reduction in charges or a case dismissal.
Meet With a Property Crimes Lawyer in Houston, TX
It’s important to speak with a knowledgeable defense attorney to learn about any available legal strategies. Establishing a criminal record can impose many long-lasting effects. Employment, housing and educational opportunities suddenly become more difficult to obtain. In addition, a felony conviction can result in the loss of personal liberties such as the right to vote or own a firearm. To avoid any unnecessary legal punishments, a criminal defendant in the Houston area should contact The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp and schedule a free case evaluation.