Property crime is a broad area of criminal law that includes diverse offenses like vandalism, shoplifting and counterfeiting. When an individual is charged with a property crime offense, he or she is advised to work with an experienced Appleton criminal defense lawyer to defend his or her case. Even seemingly minor offenses like shoplifting and graffiti can have far-reaching consequences for an individual found guilty.
Examples of Property Crimes
A property crime is defined as any criminal offense that involves the taking, damaging or destroying personal property from another party. Examples of property crimes include:
- Theft. This includes all forms of theft, such as shoplifting, motor vehicle theft, identity theft, and petty theft. Robbery can fall into this category as well, but it can also be considered to be a violent crime
There are multiple subclassifications within the category of property crime. Fraudulent property crimes are defined as offenses that involve deception, rather than violence, to obtain property illegally. Stealthy property crime includes nonconsensual, nonviolent offenses like burglary. Violent property crime is exactly what it sounds like – property offenses committed in accordance with violent acts, such as carjacking.
Penalties for Property Crimes in Wisconsin and Defending your Case
Property crimes can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies in Wisconsin. The nature of the offense determines its charge level, which in turn determines the penalties an individual faces if he or she is convicted of the offense. These penalties can include fines, jail time, probation and restitution. Because the category of property crimes is so varied, it is important that you discuss the penalties you are specifically facing for your charge with your lawyer. Generally, the penalties an individual faces for a property crime conviction depend on the value of the property taken or damaged, but this is not always the case. In a similar vein, property crime cases can be heard in municipal court or the local circuit court, depending on the nature of the alleged offense. In Oshkosh, cases heard at the circuit court level are handled in the Winnebago County Courthouse.
Although you can represent yourself in court to defend your case, it is not recommended that you do so. Your lawyer can help you navigate the criminal defense system, which can be difficult and confusing. He or she can help you prepare for depositions and other interactions with the court to help you avoid saying something that incriminates you.
Work with an Experienced Appleton Property Crimes Attorney
If you have been charged with any type of property crime, start working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Working with the right criminal defense lawyer can make a huge difference in your case’s resolution – a knowledgeable lawyer can help you use the available evidence to demonstrate your innocence or have your charge lowered. To learn more, contact our team at Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, LLC, today to set up your initial consultation with a member of our firm. Contact our team by email or call 920-202-8872.