In Florida, property crimes are taken very seriously. In most cases, when an individual is charged with a property crime, his or her potential punishment will depend on the value of the property he or she is accused of damaging, or whether or not the individual committed the offense with the use of a firearm. In order to avoid the potentially severe penalties, contact a criminal defense attorney in Tampa Bay.
St. Petersburg Property Crimes Defense Lawyer
If you have been arrested and charged with committing criminal mischief, trespassing, burglary, or any other property crime, it is vital that you contact an experienced property crimes defense attorney as soon as possible.
Melinda Morris of Morris Law Firm, P.A. is a knowledgeable defense attorney who serves clients in and around Pinellas County and St. Petersburg. If you have been charged with a property crime, contact Melinda Morris today at (727) 388-4736 to set up a consultation about your case.
Overview on Property Crimes in Florida
- Property Crimes in Pinellas County
- Penalties for Property Crimes in St. Petersburg
- Finding the Best Property Crimes Attorney in Pinellas County
The definitions of property crimes are laid out in the Florida Statutes. Some of the most common property crimes that occur in and around Pinellas County are:
Criminal Trespass: According to Fla. Stat. § 810.08, an individual is guilty of this offense if he or she willfully enters a building or property without authorization or invitation, or is invited onto a property and refuses to leave after being told to do so. This offense usually results in first or second-degree misdemeanor charges. However, if the offender is in possession of a weapon or firearm at the time of the crime, the charges can be upgraded to a third-degree felony.
Criminal Mischief: Fla. Stat. § 806.13 states that an individual can be charged with criminal mischief if he or she vandalizes or damages the property of another. An individual can also be charged with this offense if he or she places graffiti on property belonging to someone else. Depending on the value of the damage, an individual can be charged with a first or second-degree misdemeanor, as well as a third-degree felony.
Arson: When an individual damages a building or structure with the use of fire or explosion, he or she can be charged with arson (Fla. Stat. § 806.01). This offense is typically a second-degree felony but can be upgraded to a first-degree felony if the building was occupied at the time the offense occurred.
Burglary: This offense occurs when an individual unlawfully enters a building or structure for the purpose of committing an offense (Fla. Stat. § 810.02). If the alleged offender entered an unoccupied building, he or she can be charged with a third-degree felony. If the building was occupied at the time, this offense is considered a second-degree felony. If the individual is in possession of a firearm while committing the offense, he or she can face first-degree felony charges.
Fla. Stat. § 775.082 and § 775.083, the penalties are as follows:
- Second-degree misdemeanor: Up to 60 days behind bars, and/or a fine up to $500
- First-degree misdemeanor: Up to a year in jail, and/or up to a $1,000 fine
- Third-degree felony: Up to five years of imprisonment, and/or a fine up to $5,000
- Second-degree felony: Up to 15 years in prison, and/or up to a $10,000 fine
- First-degree felony: Up to 30 years or life in prison, and/or a fine up to $10,000
If you have been charged with a property crime, your Pinellas County property crimes lawyer may be able to find mitigating factors that could lead to having the charges against you reduced. This could lead to a substantial decrease in the potential penalties you could be facing.
Morris Law Firm, P.A. is dedicated to serving individuals who are facing charges of arson, vandalism, and other property crimes. If you have been accused of committing a property crime in Pinellas County or St. Petersburg, contact Morris Law Firm, P.A. today at (727) 388-4736 so that we can get started on your case.