A property crime attorney needs to be very familiar with the South Carolina Code of Laws and SC case law. There are a number of different property crimes in South Carolina and each one has an “intent” and “knowledge” requirement. There is also more than one way to get charged with each crime. With this many moving parts, a property crime lawyer needs to have experience dealing with these types of charges. A good property crime lawyer will be able to analyze the facts and pick out the inconsistencies that may exist in the prosecutor’s case.
Kent Collins has over 7 years of experience dealing with criminal cases, including property crimes. He is also a former prosecutor, which means he knows how to analyze a case from the opposing side. This can be helpful in anticipating how the prosecutor handling your case will act.
What are “Property Crimes?”
Property crimes are also called “Crimes Against Property.” Generally, property crimes involve theft, dishonesty, embezzlement, or deceit. They can also involve the destruction of property. These crimes are not treated as a slap on the wrist – they bring some serious consequences. And what is even more alarming is if you are convicted of three or more property offenses, you are facing 10 years in prison! This is what is known as the “stacking effect” of property crimes.
What Property Crime Looks Like:
When you hear “property crime” you may think of vandalism, or destruction of property. While both of those examples are considered property crimes in South Carolina, there are many more than are completely different!
Here are a few real world examples of property crime:
- Intentionally burning down your neighbor’s garage
- Shoplifting from Target
- Breaking into your friend’s house to take money he owes you
- Robbing someone on the street by pretending to have a gun in your pocket
- Holding onto a box as a favor for your friend when you know there is stolen property inside
Types of Property Crime in SC
There are a great number of criminal offenses that fall under the category of “property crimes.”
Some of the most common include:
- Receiving Stolen Goods
Let’s take a closer look at each one.
Definition: Burglary is the breaking and entering of a building or dwelling without permission and with intent to commit a crime within.
Penalty: There are 3 degrees of burglary. The penalties for each of these degrees are different and range from no jail time up to life in prison, depending upon which degree you are charged with.
Definition: Robbery is taking the property of another person by using force or intimidation
Penalty: There are 2 types of robbery, strong-arm robbery and armed robbery. The penalty for strong-arm robbery is jail time, ranging anywhere between 0-15 years. The penalty for armed robbery is 10-30 years in prison.
Definition: Larceny is also known as “theft.” Generally, it is the taking of property belonging to another person.
Penalty: The 2 types of larceny are petty larceny and grand larceny. Petty larceny can get you up to 30 days in jail or up to a $1,000 fine. Grand larceny is more serious, and can get you up to 10 years in prison or a fine in the discretion of the court.
Penalty: The penalties are broken down by the value of merchandise shoplifted. You could be facing up to a $1,000 fine or up to 10 years in jail depending on the value.
RECEIVING STOLEN GOODS
Definition: taking possession of an item that you know has been stolen
Penalty: This charge is broken down into 3 groups, depending upon the value of the stolen goods. You could be sentenced to a $500 to $2,000 fine and imprisoned for up to 10 years.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Is burglary a property crime?
Is property damage a crime?
Yes! In South Carolina property damage is actually called “malicious injury.” The most important requirement here is that the damage must have been willful, meaning not an accident. These charges are broken into 3 categories, accordingly to the value of the damage caused. The penalty for a conviction ranges from 0-10 years in prison.
What is intellectual property crime?
Intellectual property refers to ideas and inventions. Intellectual property crimes can include theft of trade secrets, infringement, illegal sale of music, and much more.
What does property crime enhancement mean?
In terms of criminal charges, enhancement refers to an “upcharge.” It means that the prosecutor bumps your charge up to a more serious degree or charge due to certain factors, like prior criminal history or the use of a deadly weapon to commit the crime.
Is property crime a felony?
Many property crimes are felonies, including but not limited to robbery, forgery, arson, burglary, and grand larceny.
Is robbery a property crime?
Robbery is a property crime. South Carolina recognizes 2 kinds of robbery, strong-arm robbery and armed robbery.
Is forgery a property crime?
Yes, forgery can be a property crime. Forgery involves the use of deceit to obtain property belonging to another person. It is very common for forgery cases to involve more than one count, and you can face serious prison time for each one.
Is arson a property crime?
Arson is a property crime. Arson is the intentional burning of someone’s building, dwelling, or structure. There are 3 degrees of arson, all of which are felonies.
Is larceny a property crime?
Yes, larceny is considered a property crime. Larceny is also commonly known as theft. There are 2 types of larceny in SC, petty larceny and grand larceny.