If someone is charged with a DUI, or assault, or drug charge, it is basically clear what authorities claim to have occurred: drunk driving, injury, and drugs. But what about someone who is accused of a property crime? It is a more vague classification of an offense.
There are various types of property crimes. They vary greatly from the type of property crime to the severity of the alleged offense. FindLaw notes that a property crime can be relatively minor but another can be considered a high-level felony. The following are the basic kinds of property crimes:
Arson: intentionally starting a fire of a structure or land. This offense is more severe if harm is caused to others or in the course of attempted fraud.
Burglary: unlawfully entering a home or other place, usually by forced entry with the intent to steal or commit another illegal action.
Larceny: intentionally depriving someone or someplace of something of value with no intention of returning it. (Theft fits into this classification, too, and is often used as a more common term.)
Robbery: using force or threats to intentionally deprive someone of their property. In these kinds of cases, weapons may be involved.
Shoplifting: intentionally taking and/or concealing property from an “establishment” without paying for it or without intending to pay for the goods.
Vandalism: damaging another’s property without consent. Graffiti can be an example of this, and so can serious damage to a structure, such as broken windows or slashed tires.
States might classify property offenses somewhat differently. A local criminal defense attorney will be able to more specifically explain state laws to you if you have been accused of any types of these property crimes in Massachusetts.