pickens county Property Crime lawyer
Property is a broad term that can include anything from a living thing to an object. For example, property can include real estate, furniture, vehicles, any other valuable item or object, pets, jewelry, money, bonds, shares, financial accounts and other intangibles. When we talk about property crimes, they can range from shoplifting, vehicle crimes, robbery, trespassing, arson, burglary, stolen merchandise, mischief, and forgery. A property crime is said to have occurred when somebody damages or compromises someone else’s property. This crime can either be intentional or due to somebody’s recklessness. Depending on the evidence and the circumstances of the crime, the person may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony. A Pickens County property crime lawyer is the most suitable person to consult if somebody has been accused of a property crime.
Common Types of Property Crimes in Pickens County, SC
Since property is a broad term, property crime also entails different types of actions that result in harm or damage to somebody’s property. Allegations may be made against the accused if the owner believes that the accused knowingly damaged their property.
Some of the most common types of property crimes in Pickens County, SC include:
- Theft: Theft basically refers to any act that deprives another party of a piece of property that is originally theirs. There are different types of theft, including theft of merchandise, services, and motor vehicles as well as shoplifting or identity theft. Anytime somebody knowingly takes control of somebody else’s property with the primary intention of depriving them of it; it is considered to be theft. Theft crimes can be treated as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the type of crime involved and the value of the property in question. A large number of property crimes fall under the umbrella of theft.
- Buying or Receiving Stolen Property: This refers to either buying or accepting property with the knowledge that it was stolen and with no intention of returning the property back to its rightful owner. Again, this type of property crime can also range from a felony to a misdemeanor.
- Robbery: A robbery is also a form of theft. The only difference is that with robbery, there is an incidence of violence. In a large majority of robbery cases, the property in question is stolen after the use of force or some form of threat. Robbery is considered a felony no matter how big or small it is.
- Criminal trespass: This refers to somebody trespassing on somebody else’s property with the intention of either damaging the property, causing some harm, or stealing something. If there was no property stolen, but someone was only trespassing, then criminal trespass is considered a misdemeanor. But if somebody invades a home, they are charged with the most serious form of criminal trespass.
- Burglary: A burglary occurs when somebody enters premises with the intent of committing a crime. Burglary is also a felony, but the degree of a felony is dependent on the extent of harm that resulted because of the burglary and the value of the property that was damaged or stolen.
- Criminal mischief: Criminal mischief refers to any act by a person that results in damage to a property he had no right to damage. These crimes can include keying a car, spray painting, graffiti or any other similar act that damages somebody’s property. Charges for criminal mischief can range from misdemeanors to felonies. Some perpetrators end up paying fines equivalent to the value of the damage they’ve caused while others get charged with a felony for more serious actions (such as an explosion).
- Arson: An act of arson refers to lighting a property on fire or using an explosion to cause damage to the said property. If the fire was the result of a reckless act, the perpetrator might be charged with a misdemeanor, but if the arson was intentional, it would be considered a felony. Also, if there was somebody inside the property and if the accused was aware of this fact, they may be charged with a Class A felony.
- Forgery or being in possession of a forged instrument: This crime refers to people who possess items that may have been forged. This could include anything from a check, public record document or any other item/document that offered an advantage or value to the accused but was forged. Charges for possession of a forged instrument can range from a felony to a misdemeanor.
Theft of Property in Pickens County, SC
Theft of property is one of the biggest forms of property crime. Property theft in Pickens County, SC is legally defined as an event where a person “knowingly obtains or exerts unauthorized control over the property of another, with intent to deprive the owner of his or her property.” This also includes using deception for knowingly obtaining control over the property of another, with intent to deprive the owner of his or her property. They can also exert control over property in the custody of a law enforcement agency which was explicitly represented to the person by an agent of the law enforcement agency as being stolen. The definition also includes obtaining or exerting unauthorized control over any donated item left on the property of a charitable organization or in a drop box or trailer, or within 30 feet of a drop box or trailer, belonging to a charitable organization.
There are three degrees of property theft:
- First-degree theft is said to have occurred when the value of the property involved exceeds $2500 in value. This will include any car of this value that may have been stolen.
- Second-degree theft is said to have occurred when the value of the property exceeds $1500 but is less than $2500. Firearms, controlled substances, and livestock may be included in this category if they are within this value amount.
- Third-degree theft is said to have occurred when the value of the property in question exceeds $500 but not $1500 in value. This could include any theft of a credit card or a debit card.
- Fourth-degree theft is said to have occurred when the value of the property involved does not exceed $500 in value. This type of property theft crime is considered to be a Class A misdemeanor with a potential punishment of up to one year in jail.
Possible Penalties and Punishments for Property Crimes in Pickens County, SC
People involved in South Carolina property crimes are typically charged according to the extent of the harm they cause and the level of damage. Broadly speaking, these could be the possible penalties and punishments for property crimes in Pickens County, SC:
- If the accused is charged with a mere violation, they can be fined up to $200 with a maximum prison time of 30 days.
- If the accused is charged with a Class C Misdemeanor, they can be charged with a $500 file and a maximum prison time of up to 3 months.
- If the accused is charged with a Class B misdemeanor, they can be charged with fines up to $3000 and prison time of up to 6 months.
- If the accused is charged with a Class A misdemeanor, they can be charged with a fine of up to $6000 and prison time of up to 1 year.
- If the accused is charged with a Class C felony, they can be charged with fines of up to $15,000 and prison time of 1 to 10 years.
- If the accused is charged with a Class B Felony, they can be charged with fines up to $30,000 and prison time from 2-20 years.
- If the accused is charged with a Class A felony, they can be charged with fines up to $60,000 and prison time from 10-99 years or life.
Punishments can be severe for people who have been convicted of property crimes multiple times. These convictions and crimes will become part of their criminal record and will have an impact on their ability to find or hold a good job, ability to get a loan or any other form of credit, ability to rent and other similar consequences. It is thus evident that a property crime conviction can have significant consequences on a person’s life and prospects. For those accused of a property crime, it is in their interest to consult a property crimes lawyer immediately to ensure their case is handled properly.
Innocent Till Proven Guilty for Pickens County Property Crimes
As with any other crime, the person accused of property theft cannot be proven guilty till the prosecution can prove that the property was in fact damaged or destroyed by them. To do so, it has to be established that the said owner of the property was, in fact, the rightful owner and had not granted any rights, permission, temporary possession or license to the accused when the damage occurred. Also, the prosecution has to establish that the accused had the intent to cause damage. If you have been accused of property theft in Pickens County, SC, you will need legal representation from a property crime lawyer to ensure that they prepare a strong defense for you. There are often situations where intent and ownership can both be questioned as well as the value of the property. All these elements can be used to defend somebody accused of property theft.
Criminal Intent for Property Crimes in Pickens County
Criminal intent is one of the key elements in proving that a property crime has occurred. In fact, criminal intent is the basis of establishing guilt in any criminal case. Criminal intent can be difficult to determine because it can range from premeditation to spontaneous action.
Criminal intent can be categorized in different ways, including:
- Direct intent which is basically defined as a desire to commit an act with the specific intention or expectation that it will result in damage.
- The oblique intent is when somebody undertakes an action when they are well-aware that such an action may cause harm or damage. That may not have been their primary purpose, but they may still be held responsible even if they had no direct intent.
Another common classification of intent is basic intent versus specific intent. The basic intent is when a person performs an action that could have harmful consequences, and if the damage is caused, they may be held responsible even if it may not have been something they had planned. Specific intent, on the other hand, is when somebody does something with the intention of causing damage or harm.
Get help from an experienced property crime lawyer in Pickens County, SC
If you have been accused of a property crime in Pickens County, SC, you should contact our property crime lawyer at Brumback & Langley. Our law firm has been serving Clemson, Easley, and Pickens for several years and our property crime lawyer has significant experience dealing with cases related to property crimes.
At Brumback & Langley, we believe in creating value for our clients by providing effective and innovative solutions to their legal problems. Keep in mind that many property crime cases are not as straightforward as they seem. Our Pickens County property crimes lawyer will make it a point to prepare a strong defense based on the evidence and the type of crime. Several aspects need to be considered, including the status of ownership of the property at the time the crime was committed, the intent and the value of the property. Our property crime lawyer is well-versed with the laws in South Carolina, and we know how to give our clients the best possible representation so that their legal issues are resolved with a positive outcome. Call us today 864 414 9097 and speak to our property crime lawyer today.