Sarasota Property Crimes Lawyer
If you have been accused of a crime relating to intentionally damaging or destroying another person’s property, you are probably worried about what will happen next and the impact a conviction will have on your life. Your concerns are well-founded because these criminal offenses are treated seriously and can lead to significant penalties.
Property crimes can be misdemeanors or felonies in Florida, and while the penalties will vary greatly depending on the severity of the circumstances and the value of the property, any conviction will likely include a combination of consequences as well as a permanent mark on your criminal record.
Possible property crimes conviction can include:
- A jail or prison sentence
- Expensive fines and court fees
- House arrest or probation requiring monthly reporting, community service work, and classes
- A permanent criminal record
- The social stigma of a theft or fraud conviction
- Difficulty finding or keeping a job
- Difficulty getting or keeping a professional license
- Difficulty getting or keeping an immigration visa or green card, denial of your citizenship application, or deportation if you’re a non-citizen
Fortunately, being charged with a property crime does not have to be the end of the world. With a skilled Sarasota criminal defense lawyer by your side, you can present a strong defense and possibly see the case dismissed or have the charges greatly reduced. For instance, your lawyer may be able to show that you were the victim of mistaken identity or you reasonably believed the owner of the property granted you the appropriate access.
Sarasota property crimes lawyer Erika Valcarcel has extensive experience handling these types of offenses throughout Florida, including several years working as a prosecutor before starting her criminal defense practice. She has tried thousands of criminal cases and knows how to build successful defense strategies designed to obtain the best possible results.
Common Property Crimes in Florida
Florida’s criminal statutes include several offenses that qualify as property crimes charges. Some of the most common types are described below; however, Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. is prepared to defend any type of criminal charge you may face in Sarasota and its surrounding areas.
- Arson — This crime is defined as willfully and unlawfully using fire or an explosion to cause damage to a structure. This is usually considered the most serious property crime in Florida and is always classified as a felony, but the severity of the punishment depends on the type of structure that was damaged and if aggravating factors are present, such as if a person was injured or even killed as a result. Penalties can include very hefty fines and lengthy prison terms – up to a life sentence.
- Criminal Trespassing — This offense is described as entering a property without the express or implied permission of the owner. This particular property crime is usually considered a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail. However, if the offender carries a firearm or other type of weapon, the violation can be heightened to a third-degree felony with a maximum term of imprisonment of up to 5 years.
- Criminal Mischief — Like arson, criminal mischief involves the intentional destruction of someone else’s property. Some common examples include graffiti, general vandalism, or any other act that negatively alters the property’s original state. The penalties after a conviction range between a second -degree misdemeanor and a third-degree felony, depending on the amount of damage but will include some combination of fines, probation, or jail time.
Contact a Sarasota Property Crimes Lawyer
If you’re experiencing the fear and anxiety that typically accompany a property crimes charge, it is important to remember that you don’t need to go through this difficult process alone. Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. is here to help.
Sarasota criminal defense attorney Erika Valcarcel knows how devastating a criminal conviction can be on a person’s life. That’s why she’ll collect all the available evidence and craft a defense that presents your case in the best possible light to protect your rights so you achieve the best result possible.