Depending on the offense committed, property crimes can be classified as misdemeanor or felony offenses. No matter which you face, it's important to understand that a conviction carries penalties in addition to a criminal record that can be easily accessed by the public. For this reason, fighting your property crime charge is recommended.
Property crime covers a number of offenses, ranging from destruction of property and trespassing to theft. If convicted of a property-related crime, the court will consider the severity of the offense, along with your prior offenses, when determining the sentence.
Property damage includes crimes such as criminal destruction of property, graffiti and arson. Factors that could cause the charge to be classified as a felony offense include damaging property such as vehicles or the highway that would cause injury to another, damaging property that belongs to a public utility, reducing the value of the property by more than $2,500, or setting a fire to defraud the insurance company.
Trespassing is the act of entering into another's property without either explicit or implied consent. This is classified as a misdemeanor offense in Wisconsin. There are some cases in which entering onto a premises without consent is not considered trespassing, so it's important to retain an attorney who can review and challenge your case (if necessary).
Misappropriation of property is the act of taking or receiving property from another individual or institution. Crimes that fall under this category include shoplifting, robbery, fraud and embezzlement. The value of the stolen property is considered when filing charges; taking property valued at less than $2,500 is a misdemeanor while taking property above this amount is a felony.
Many people charged with a property crime believe they will be automatically convicted; however, this isn't the case. Tracey Wood & Associates have helped a number of Wisconsin residents fight their property-related cases.