Van Nuys Property Crimes: Definition and Potential Penalties

Charges for Van Nuys property crimes can result in serious consequences. Here’s what you need to know about these offenses. 

Van Nuys Property Crimes: What Is a Property Crime in Van Nuys CA?

 

When someone is destroying a property that belongs to someone else, they would be committing a property crime. And although Van Nuys, a highly-populated area of Los Angeles, has a lower crime rate than Los Angeles, it also features a higher crime rate than the national average when it comes to property crimes. 

There are many types of property crimes. They all carry devastating consequences that may include jail time and hefty fines.

In general, there are two categories of these criminal offenses – those that are theft-related and non-theft-related. For example, theft-related property crimes include larceny, burglary, and different types of theft. On the other hand, non-theft-related property crimes include crimes such as arson, vandalism, and trespass. 

Most property crimes in Van Nuys, CA are “wobblers,” meaning an individual accused of committing them may face either misdemeanor or felony charges. Which charges they would be facing depends on the severity of the offenses and their criminal history.

Being charged with a felony or a misdemeanor is a complex and demanding procedure, and you shouldn’t go through it alone. By working with an experienced felony and misdemeanor attorney, you can get qualified legal advice and skilled representation that can help you obtain the most favorable outcome for your case. 

Van Nuys Crimes Against Property

 

Larceny is a theft-related property crime that can fall into the grand theft or petty theft category. The difference between these two offenses is the value of the property that was stolen. If the value exceeds $950, the crime is considered grand theft and may be charged as a felony, which carries a penalty of up to three years in state prison. 

An individual will be committing burglary if he or she enters any property with the intent to commit any type of theft. It’s critical to note that you would be facing charges for committing this Van Nuys CA crime even if the crime wasn’t completed. 

Along with burglary, robbery is also a type of theft. It involves using physical force to take someone’s money or property. If a weapon is involved and a victim suffers a serious injury, penalties for this crime can be significant. 

Bear in mind that you can be charged for a federal offense in some cases of theft-related crimes. Identity theft, mail theft, and bank robbery are just some examples of these crimes. So, if you are facing federal charges and require the legal services of a federal criminal attorney in Los Angeles, CA, and nearby cities, consider hiring the reputable Law Office of Christopher Chaney.

Our lawyers will work tirelessly to protect our client’s rights when they are accused of committing a property crime in Van Nuys and destroying or stealing another person’s property. 

Vandalism Stats in Van Nuys, CA

 

California Penal Code defines vandalism as maliciously “defacing with graffiti or inscribed material, damaging, or destroying” property that doesn’t belong to you. 

The consequences of this Van Nuys crime depend on the amount of damage. So, if the damage is estimated at less than $400, the charge would be a misdemeanor, but if it’s higher, the offender may face felony charges.

According to Crime Grade’s crime map, Van Nuys is described as a city where the rate of property crime is higher than in an average U.S. city, making this area less safe than the national average. The map shows the safest places in green, while more dangerous areas are in red. 

The southeast part of the city is generally described as safer. On the other hand, according to the same website statistics, your chance of being a victim of property crime in the southwest neighborhoods is 1 in 14. Theft is, by far, the most common property crime in Van Nuys, CA, followed by vehicle theft and burglary.

The Los Angeles Times also mapped neighborhoods that make up Los Angeles County using data provided from the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. According to their crime data, during the first six months of 2020, Van Nuys was among the top Los Angeles areas based on the number of property crimes committed.

A Property Crimes Lawyer in Van Nuys Can Protect Your Rights

 

In addition to vandalism, trespassing and arson are also considered non-theft property offenses. Illegally accessing buildings, lands, or other property that another individual owns and doing so without their consent could result in trespassing charges. Accessing the property without the owner’s consent and refusing to leave, causing damage, or accessing with the goal of disrupting business activities can also result in trespassing charges. 

Although trespassing is typically a misdemeanor crime, it may be a wobbler offense and even result in felony charges in some circumstances. 

Arson is a property crime that occurs when an individual maliciously and willfully causes or sets fire to any land, forest, property, or structure. Those who aid the person committing the crime can also face arson charges. In addition, those who recklessly committed the crime may still be accused of arson. 

If the arson causes severe injury to someone, the offender may face imprisonment in CA state prison for several years. Other consequences include potential registration as a lifetime arsonist. Causing death due to arson may also result in murder charges. 

What Are Property Crimes’ Penalties?

 

If you get arrested for committing a property crime in Van Nuys, California, there is a certain way your case will proceed. After the arraignment and learning the charges against you in court, the process of negotiation will begin. It’s when the prosecution and defense discuss potential sentences and plea bargains for the accused. 

If the agreement is not reached, the case proceeds to a preliminary hearing, when a judge will determine if there is probable cause to go to trial. Pretrial allows both parties to get all the evidence that would be presented to the court and prepare for the trial.

The seriousness of the charges and penalties for property crimes in California can depend on the value of the stolen items, the offender’s previous criminal history, and whether someone was hurt.

Several months or years of jail time, imprisonment in the state prison, getting a criminal record, facing additional charges, potential fines, and other life-long consequences are among the penalties for these crimes. One thing’s for sure – these charges shouldn’t be taken lightly. 

 

Some Van Nuys CA Property Crimes Examples

Property crimes include a number of activities that you might not think of as crimes. For example, writing or drawing something in wet cement on a sidewalk or breaking something you own together during a fight with your husband may be grounds for vandalism charges. 

When it comes to arson, things appear to be a bit more clear. So if you set fire to someone else’s car, for example, you would be committing arson. But, you can also face arson charges if you throw a lit cigarette and cause a forest fire. 

Also, if you broke into someone else’s home but you ran away empty-handed because a security alarm went off, you could still end up being charged with burglary. 

Damaging or removing any signs or fences that mark another person’s property boundaries can create a problem that results in trespassing charges. The same can occur if an individual enters the restaurant and causes a disturbance because of a personal grudge. 

Being arrested for a property crime can be a frightening experience, and legal consequences can be harsh. That is why you need a Los Angeles, CA theft attorney by your side who has enough experience handling property offenses. When you reach out to the Law Office of Christopher Chaney, we can schedule a free in-person consultation. Our attorneys can then start preparing a defense strategy that will suit our client’s individual case.

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