Southfield Arson & Property Crimes Lawyer
If you have been charged with an offense that involves the theft or destruction of another person’s property in Southfield, Michigan or the surrounding region, the crime for which you are accused is classified as a property crime. The penalties for these crimes vary based on a range of factor present during the alleged commission of the offense. However, in many cases, a conviction for property crime can have significant long-term consequences for your life. It’s essential to obtain the help of an experienced Southfield property crimes lawyer if you are facing a charge.
With prior experience as a prosecutor, Southfield criminal defense attorney Maurice Davis understands the mind of the prosecution and their likely avenue of attack in your case. With considerable resources at his disposal, attorney Davis can put together an intelligent defense with every effort toward reducing or eliminating when possible the charges against you.
Property Crimes in Michigan
Property crimes in Michigan encompass both misdemeanor and felony charges. Both types of crimes are serious. There is a broad range of activities that fall under the category of property crimes. Across these range of activities, you will find either the theft or damage of someone else’s property involved.
You may face property crime charges if you have been engaged in one of the following actions:
Arson is generally the willful or malicious destruction/burning of someone else’s property. Per Michigan Penal Code 750.72, you could be charged with a first-degree arson felony when you burn “any multi-unit structure in which at least one unit is a dwelling,” “any building or structure if the fire results in an injury,” or a mine. If found guilty of this offense, you face up to life in prison, and a fine of up to $20,000 (or three times the value of the property that was destroyed) – whichever amount is greater.
Michigan Penal Code 750.73 defines second-degree arson as the burning of any unit or dwelling and its contents – except multi-unit dwellings. This offense can be punished with up to 20 years in prison, and $20,000 (or three times the amount of the destroyed property).
Third-degree arson is outlined in Michigan Penal Code 750.54, and is considered a criminal offense if you burn a structure that is not included in the statutes defining first and second-degree arson. Additionally, third-degree arson can be committed when you destroy personal or real property worth more than $20,000. For second-time offenders, this amount is $1,000. For third-degree arson, you can be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines (or three times the amount of the property that was destroyed).
Fourth-degree arson, outlined in Michigan Penal Code 750.75, occurs when you burn any property worth between $1,000 and $20,000. If you have any previous convictions of arson in which you destroyed property valued at $200 or more, you can face fourth-degree arson charges. If convicted, you face up to five years’ incarceration, and $10,000 in fines (or three times the value of the destroyed property).
If you have been accused of deliberately destroying or damaging public or private property, you may face vandalism charges. Depending on the value of the damaged property, you could face misdemeanor or felony charges.
In order for the prosecution to secure a conviction against you, they must prove that you broke and entered into another person’s home without their permission. According to Michigan Penal Code Section 750.110, home invasions are placed into three categories:
First-degree home invasion
If you enter a dwelling with the intent to commit a felony, assault, or larceny, or you actually do so, and one of the following is true, you can face felony-level charges (and the years of prison/fines that come with a conviction): you were armed with a dangerous weapon, or another person was lawfully present in the home.
Second-degree home invasion
If you enter a dwelling without permission and with the intent to commit a felony, assault or larceny, or actually do so, you face felony-level charges. As such, you can be sentenced to a lengthy term of imprisonment, and thousands of dollars in fines.
Third-degree home invasion
If you enter a dwelling without permission and with the intent to commit a misdemeanor; if you actually commit a misdemeanor; or if you violate probation, a protection order, bail, or bond, you will face felony charges that can lead to years in prison and hefty fines.
Misdemeanor vs. Felony Property Crimes
The severity of the property crime offense you are facing and the subsequent penalties stemming from that offense can vary based on certain factors including:
- The specific crime involved
- Whether you used any violence
- The value of the damaged, stolen, or destroyed property
- Your criminal history, if any
Penalties and Consequences for Property Crimes
It’s important to obtain legal help as soon as possible to prepare a defense strategy to fight your charges. You don’t want to delay longer than necessary. If you are going to be questioned by the police about an incident, you have the right to have a lawyer present before answering any questions. You can benefit significantly from have an experienced attorney there to fight for you from the very outset. The faster you obtain proper representation, the faster you can move past this situation and achieve the best possible outcome.
The penalties and consequences of a property crime conviction are hefty and can include one or more of the following:
- Jail or prison time
- Payment of large fees, fines, and restitution that are unaffordable for you
- A criminal record that lasts potentially for a lifetime, inhibiting your ability to obtain employment
- Difficulty acquiring or maintaining professional licenses that pertain to your preferred career
- Liability in civil court from a lawsuit
- Damaged or lost relationships with family members
- Public humiliation
Contact a Southfield Property Crimes Lawyer
If you’ve been charged with a crime related to the damage or destruction of property and the situation looks bleak, consider what a Southfield property crimes lawyer with prior experience as a prosecutor can do for you. Attorney Maurice Davis is your trusted advocate when it comes to forging the best way ahead to combat your charges.
You can count on attorney Davis to apply his previous experience as a prosecutor and his significant experience as a defense attorney to build a case that achieves the best possible results for you. Contact Davis Law Group today at (313) 818-3238 to begin the process of building your defense.