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Understanding the types of property crimes

On Behalf of | Mar 27, 2020 | Criminal Defense

When a person owns property, this means that they have certain rights in regard to this property. If someone else deprives the owner of their property or damages their property in some way, they will likely be committing a crime.

There are several different laws in place that are designed to protect people’s property. The following article is an overview of some of the most important of these laws. If you have recently been accused of committing any of the associated crimes, it is important that you take swift action to build your defense.


Vandalism is the act of intentionally defacing or destroying property that does not belong to them. It typically occurs in the form of graffiti being used on public buildings, but it can take many different forms. If you are found guilty of vandalism, you will likely face fines, but you may also face jail time.


Arson is similar to vandalism in the sense that it involves the destruction of property with typically no intent of monetary gain. However, it is much more serious because it involves burning property, which could endanger others. Arson is willful and malicious in nature. Sometimes arson attacks are carried out to get revenge against another person, but occasionally people engage in fraudulent acts of arson with the intent of gaining back insurance claims. Those found guilty of arson are usually charged with a felony, which commonly leads to jail time.


Burglary involves the unlawful entering of any structure with the intention of committing any crime inside. Contrary to popular belief, being charged with burglary does not require that you commit or intend to commit theft. Additionally, a person can be charged with burglary before they have committed the crime in question. Any attempt to unlawfully enter a structure could be sufficient evidence to be charged with burglary.


Shoplifting is the specific act of stealing property that was intended for sale from a commercial premises. The seriousness of the crime of shoplifting depends on the value of the items stolen.

If you have been accused of property crimes in Virginia, you should make sure that you understand the seriousness of the crimes you have been accused of. To avoid gaining a criminal record, you should take swift action to defend yourself.

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Attorney Harvey S Lutins