Property crimes involve a person destroying, altering, trespassing, or stealing property from another person, business or institution. Crimes such as arson, graffiti and burglary are considered a property crime since the property was trespassed on, altered, or destroyed.
A person commits criminal mischief if they damage, destroy, tampers, or makes markings on another person’s property without permission. Criminal mischief can incorporate a wide variety of scenarios.
A person commits graffiti if they intentionally make markings on another’s property such as inscriptions, slogans, drawings or paintings. Usually this crime is associated with criminal mischief and juveniles.
Reckless Damage or Destruction
If a person recklessly damages or destroys another’s property, they can be charged with reckless damage or destruction.
A person commits arson if they intentionally and knowingly starts a fire, regardless if it continues after ignition, or causes an explosion with intent to destroy or damage any property.
A person commits burglary if they enter a home or building to commit theft, assault or a felony. It can also include entering a building while it is open to the public, and then remaining hidden until it is closed.
Burglary of a Habitation
A person commits burglary of a habitation if they burglarize another’s home or structure that is adapted for overnight accommodations.
Burglary of a Vehicle
A person commits burglary of a vehicle if they enter a vehicle with the intent to commit any felony crime or theft.
A person commits criminal trespass if they enter or remain in a property of another without valid consent. The alleged offender also must have had their entry forbidden or received notice to leave the premises prior.
Class C Misdemeanor
Punishable with a fine up to $500.
An example of conviction for a Class C misdemeanor is if a person commits criminal mischief and the amount of the loss is less than $100.
Class B Misdemeanor
Punishable by up to 180 days in Harris County jail, and a fine of up to $2,000.
An example of this is if a person commits criminal trespass without aggravating factors, they can face a Class B misdemeanor.
Class A Misdemeanor
Punishable by up to 12 months in Harris County jail, and a fine of up to $4,000.
An example of this is if a person commits burglary of a vehicle he or she will face a Class A misdemeanor.
State Jail Felony
Punishable with a minimum of 180 days and a maximum of 24 months in jail, and a fine of up to $10,000.
A conviction of burglary of a building other than a habitation can result in a state jail felony.
Third Degree Felony
Punishable with a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 10 years in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000.
A person can receive a third-degree felony if bodily injury or death occurs due to the alleged offender’s arson of a property.
Second Degree Felony
Punishable with a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 20 years in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000.
An example of this is if a person commits criminal mischief where the total loss is $150,000 or more but less than $300,00.
First Degree Felony
Punishable with a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 99 or life imprisonment, and a fine of up to $10,000.
If any person commits burglary of a habitation, they can face a first-degree felony.
It is important to contact an experienced Harris County defense attorney to learn if any mitigating circumstances might apply in order to get your case possibly reduced or dismissed. Contact Attorney Emily Shelton. She has the experience, knowledge of the law, and power to defend your rights.