If you have been charged with stealing or damaging property, you may find yourself facing an array of allegations based on the type of damage inflicted or value of stolen property. A criminal defense attorney can help defend against the charges you are facing and give you the best chance at avoiding serious life consequences.
Here are some of the most common types of property offenses in Indiana.
To prove arson, prosecutors will have to establish that the alleged perpetrator intentionally set fire to a property. Under Indiana law, arson is generally classified as a felony, ranging from level 2 to level 6, depending on the severity of the crime.
Burglary and robbery
A burglary requires breaking into and entering someone else’s property (e.g., home or building) with the intention of stealing or another criminal act inside. Burglary in Indiana is typically classified as a level 5 felony for non-residential dwellings and a level 4 felony for residential dwellings. If someone is injured during the course of the burglary, the crime can be classified as a more serious felony.
Unlike burglary, robbery requires the actual taking of someone else’s property with the use of force or fear. Robbery in Indiana is generally classified as a level 5 felony but can be classified as a more serious felony if there is bodily injury.
To prove theft in Indiana, prosecutors must show that the alleged defendant intentionally exerted unauthorized control over someone else’s property, with intent to deprive them of the property. It can be classified as a misdemeanor or level 5 or 6 felony.
Vandalism occurs when a person recklessly or intentionally defaces or damages another person’s property without their consent. It is often considered a class B misdemeanor or criminal mischief.
A property offense conviction in Indiana can result in jail time and significant fines. A criminal defense attorney can come up with a defense strategy to help you avoid these consequences based on available evidence and witness testimony.