According to a recent FBI Investigation, San Diego has been experiencing a significant rise in property crimes. Property crimes include a variety of offenses, but most commonly include burglary, robbery, shoplifting, and receiving stolen property.
While each of these crimes is charged differently under different circumstances, each may have a serious effect on your future and criminal record.
Burglary and Robbery
Theft crimes range from misdemeanors to felonies, but are generally more serious than many people recognize. Burglary, for example, involves an offender entering a home or building intending to commit a felony or theft once inside. This definition extends to hotels, rooms, tents, and other dwellings. Robbery, on the other hand, involves taking personal property away from someone’s person. A person commits robbery when they take personal property against his or her will, whereas a burglary can occur without the victims even realizing they have been burglarized right away.
In both robbery and burglary cases, however, there are certain circumstances that increase the severity of the crime in the eyes of the law. The mere presence of weapons, actual threats, perceived threats (consider an unloaded gun or verbal reference to a hidden weapon), or use of force will almost always result in greater and/or additional charges being filed against you. The value and type of property being stolen also affects the charges that will be brought against an offender.
Receiving Stolen Property
Receiving stolen property is just as it sounds; in order to be convicted of receiving stolen property, the prosecutor must prove that the offender knew or reasonably should have known that the property was stolen.
It is a crime to buy, sell, conceal, or store any property that you know was stolen, regardless of who it came from or what the purpose of the transaction was. This crime includes receipt of something as small as a shirt to as valuable as a car, stereo equipment, furniture, or other big-ticket household items. Again, depending on the value and type of property at issue, receiving stolen property may be a misdemeanor or felony offense.
San Diego Property Crimes Defense Attorney
This general overview of theft crimes is just that; there are many additional ways that you can be charged under (and defend against) relevant theft laws in California, and there are many other actions that constitute property theft than those described here.
If you have been accused or charged with, or are being investigated in regards to a property crime in California, you have legal options. Attorney Vikas Bajaj, of the Law Office of Vikas Bajaj, APC, has the experience necessary to navigate both minor and serious theft crimes in the greater San Diego area. With experience in misdemeanor and felony property theft crimes, Attorney Bajaj will work hard to ensure that you receive leniency if possible and that all of your legal remedies are explored before considering a plea. Contact his San Diego criminal defense law office to learn more about your options if you have been charged with a property theft crime.