The term “property crime” is a phrase used to describe a broad range of criminal activity. That said, property crime is generally used to describe crime that impacts only property and not a victim’s well-being. Property crimes can range from simple misdemeanors to complex felonies and the punishment and range of consequences vary wildly.
Types of Property Crime
Even though most property crimes do not involve physical violence, they are still aggressively prosecuted. What’s worse is that many convictions for property crime offenses have consequential implications that can have a devastating impact on your future. On top of any consequences a property crime conviction may have through the court and criminal justice process, property crime offenses often impact employment, immigration status, criminal background checks and professional licenses. Below is a list of commonly charges property crime offenses in Arizona:
Theft. Theft is an overarching charge which encompasses many underlying property crimes. A.R.S. § 13-1802 can range from a simple misdemeanor to a serious felony charge requiring mandatory minimum prison even on a first offense. The classification of the crime and associated penalties are generally determined by the value of the goods stolen. Read more
Theft by Extortion. Pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-1804, theft by extortion occurs when a person threatens another person in order to obtain money, property or services. The type of force threatened and the status of the person making the threat, determine the crime’s classification and penalties. Read more
Shoplifting. Shoplifting, pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-1805 is far and away the most common property crime prosecuted in Arizona. Shoplifting occurs when an individual enters a store and conceals or leaves with an item listed for sale without paying. The punishment for shoplifting depends on the value of the item shoplifted and factors such as the use of a device (Organized Retail Theft); use of an accomplice, and others. While shoplifting is generally perceived as a misdemeanor, in many instances shoplifting can be a felony under Arizona law. Read more
Organized Retail Theft. A crime encompassed within many misdemeanor shoplifting offenses, organized retail theft pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-1819 occurs when a person shoplifts with the intent of selling the proceeds afterwards or if the person uses an artifice, instrument, container, device or other article to facilitate the shoplift. Organized retail theft is a class 4 felony in Arizona. Read more
Criminal Damage. Pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-1602, criminal damage occurs anytime someone recklessly damages, defaces or tampers with the property of another. Examples of criminal damage range from graffiti to breaking your own property in the midst of a domestic dispute. Depending on the value of the item damaged, criminal damage ranges from a class 2 misdemeanor to a class 4 felony. Read more
Criminal Trespass. Encompassing several Arizona statutes, criminal trespass can be committed in either the first, second or third degree.
- Criminal Trespass in the First Degree: A.R.S. § 13-1504 deals with trespass on various residential structures. Criminal trespass in the first degree ranges from a class 1 misdemeanor to a class 5 felony.
- Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree: A.R.S. § 13-1503 deals with trespass on any nonresidential structure or in any fenced commercial yard.
- Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree: A.R.S. § 13-1502 occurs when a person remains on any property after a request has been made by the property owner. This trespass also occurs when a person walks across any right-of-way for tracks, or the storage or switching yards or rolling stock of a railroad company. Trespass in the third degree is a class 3 misdemeanor.
Burglary. Burglary in Arizona takes various forms and differs from criminal trespass as burglary involves entry into a structure rather than simply trespassing onto the property with the intent to commit a felony while there.
- Burglary in the First Degree: A.R.S. § 13-1508 occurs when a second or third degree burglary is committed and the person possesses explosives, a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument. Burglary in the first degree is a class 2 felony if committed on a residential structure and a class 3 felony if committed on a commercial property.
- Burglary in the Second Degree: A.R.S. § 13-1507 occurs when a person enters a residential structure with the intent of committing a felony (most commonly a theft). Burglary in the second degree is a class 3 felony.
- Burglary in the Third Degree: A.R.S. § 13-1506 occurs when a person enters a nonresidential structure or fenced commercial or residential yard with the intent of committing a felony (most commonly a theft). This type of burglary also occurs when a person enters a car by way of a master key or device with the intent of committing a felony (most commonly a theft). Burglary in the third degree is a class 4 felony.
Arson. Arson involves knowingly causing damage to property by a fire or explosion. The classification and severity of punishment depends on the type of structure, whether the structure was occupied and the value of the damage caused by the fire.
Property Crime Lawyer
Property crimes span a broad range of offenses and consequences. As some of the most serious crimes under Arizona law, property crime offenses require a knowledge base that draws on an understanding of financial, forensic and technical issues. Making things even more difficult for those charged with a property crime, many offenses are assigned to specially trained prosecutors with extensive resources to ensure convictions. To combat the efforts of law enforcement and the prosecutors in acquiring a conviction, you need an experienced property crimes attorney. At Feldman & Royle, we have extensive knowledge of the issues that arise in property crime cases and the tactics used by the state and law enforcement. We offer a free and confidential consultation.