If an individual is convicted of a property crime in Jacksonville, they could face severe penalties, including a jail or prison sentence, fines, restitution, refusal to be admitted into college or graduate school programs, a driver’s license suspension, an inability to pursue certain occupations and/ or a criminal record.
Juveniles or young adults who commit graffiti, vandalism or breaking and entering do not believe they are committing a serious criminal offense. However, it is important to understand these offenses can lead to very serious repercussions and can affect the rest of their lives. Therefore, it is important to contact an experienced Jacksonville lawyer if you have been charged with any property offense.Jacksonville Property Crime Lawyer
If you have been charged with any property crime in Jacksonville, or any of the surrounding areas in Florida, including Jacksonville Beach, St. Augustine, Orange Park, or Fernandina Beach, contact Roelke Law, P.A. Bill Roelke is an experienced criminal defense attorney and will make every effort to ensure you avoid the most serious penalties and repercussions to your alleged offense. Call Roelke Law today for a free consultation at (904) 354-0333 about your property crime charges.
Florida Property Crimes Information Center
- Property Offenses in Jacksonville
- Florida Penalties for Property Crimes
- Defenses to Property Crime Charges
- Jacksonville Resources for Property Offenses
Most property offenses in Jacksonville are defined in Chapters 806 and 810 of the Florida Statutes. Some of the most common property crimes are listed below.
- Fla. Stat. § 806.01 – Arson – An individual can be charged with this offense if they intentionally damage any building of any kind through the use of fire or an explosion. An individual can be charged with first degree arson or second degree arson, depending on whether another person was in the building at the time of the offense and the alleged offender had reasonable grounds to know that person was there.
- Fla. Stat. § 810.02 – Burglary – An individual can be charged with this offense if they enter a structure, dwelling, building, motor vehicle, ship, railroad car or aircraft that is closed to the public with the intent to commit a crime; or they lawfully enter a building and remain there after they are no longer allowed with the intent to commit a crime. Breaking and entering is also a form of burglary.
- Fla. Stat. § 806.13 – Criminal Mischief – An individual can be charged with this offense if they willfully and maliciously inure or damage any real or personal property that belongs to someone else. Anyone who commits vandalism or graffiti can be charged with criminal mischief. Vandalism is defined as willfully and maliciously destroying public or private property.
- Fla. Stat. § 810.08 – Criminal Trespass – An individual can be charged with this offense if they willfully enter or remain in any structure, building of any kind or conveyance without being authorized, licensed or invited into the structure. Breaking and entering can also be considered criminal trespass.
Many of these property offenses require an element of intent. This means the prosecutor is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the alleged offender had the intent to commit the crime. Intent is a subjective element and can be very difficult to prove, as it pertains to a person’s state of mind and can be different for everyone.
Property charges in Florida can result in a variety of convictions, from a misdemeanor of the second degree to a felony of the first degree. The following criminal penalties for property crimes can be increased depending on whether a weapon was used, the type or amount of damage that resulted, whether the alleged offender has a previous criminal history and whether anyone was present during the commission of the offense. General penalties for property crimes in Florida can include:
- Criminal mischief, graffiti or vandalism to property in an amount of $200 or less, and criminal trespass are misdemeanors of the second degree. This degree of misdemeanor can result in up to 60 days in jail and/or fines up to $500.
- Criminal mischief, graffiti, or vandalism to property in an amount of $201 but less than $1,000 are misdemeanors of the first degree. Additionally, anyone who commits criminal trespass while someone else was present in the building or structure can be charged with a misdemeanor of the first degree. This degree of misdemeanor can result in up to one year in jail and/or a fine up to $1,000.
- Criminal mischief, graffiti, or vandalism to property in an amount over $1,000 and armed criminal trespass can all result in a conviction for a felony of the third degree. Unarmed, non-violent burglary committed with no other people present is also a felony of the third degree. This degree of felony offense is punishable by a prison sentence up to five years and/or a fine up to $5,000.
- If an individual is charged with burglary or arson in the second degree, they can be convicted of a felony of the second degree. A second degree felony conviction can result in a prison sentence up to 15 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
- Armed burglary, aggravated burglary or arson in the first degree can all result in a conviction for a felony of the first degree. A felony of the first degree conviction can be punishable by a fine up to $10,000 and/or a prison sentence up to 30 years or life.
Additionally, if anyone commits a graffiti offense, they can be required to pay an additional fine of:
- At least $250 for a first conviction,
- At least $500 for a second conviction, and
- At least $1,000 for a third or subsequent conviction.
Certain individuals may be able to use defenses to their property crime allegations in Florida. Your criminal defense attorney will listen to the facts of your situation and help identify if any defense may be applicable to your particular situation. Common defenses to property crimes in Florida can include, but are not limited to:
Justification – If an individual is charged with committing an act that would otherwise be considered a criminal offense, they may be able to use a justification defense if their conduct was required or authorized by law or their conduct was necessary in an emergency situation to prevent public or private harm.
Duress – If an individual was charged with committing a property crime, they can use this defense if they were threatened by another person to cause injury to them or a third party if they did not commit the offense and any other person would have done the same thing in the same situation.
Renunciation – If an individual withdrew from participation in the property offense prior to committing the criminal act and they substantially attempted to prevent the act from occurring, they may be able to use this defense.
Reasonable Belief – If an individual reasonably believed the rightful owner would have allowed them into the building or structure, they may be able to use this defense to certain property crimes, such as breaking and entering.
Florida Statues – Arson and Criminal Mischief – This link is to Chapter 806 of the Florida Statutes, which defines arson, criminal mischief, vandalism and graffiti offenses and possible penalties for a conviction of any of these property offenses throughout Florida.
Florida Statues – Burglary and Criminal Trespass – This link is to Chapter 810 of the Florida Statutes, which defines burglary, criminal trespass, trespass in a structure or conveyance and breaking and entering offenses and possible penalties for a conviction of any of these property crimes in Florida.
Roelke Law, P.A. | Jacksonville Property Crime Attorney
Contact Roelke Law today for a consultation about your alleged property crime throughout Duval County in Florida. Bill Roelke is an experienced Jacksonville defense attorney who will make every effort to find mitigating factors or applicable defenses that will result in a reduction or dismissal of the charges against you. Contact Roelke Law at (904) 354-0333 for a consultation about your alleged property crime offense throughout Duval County and the surrounding counties in Florida, including St. Johns County, Nassau County and Clay County.