Theft and Property Crimes in Lansing
When charges of theft or property crimes are brought against a person in Lansing, he or she may find himself or herself in deep trouble. These are very serious charges, and they can lead to heavy jail time as well as large fines.
If you are facing either of these types of charges, it is vital that you seek experienced counsel as soon as possible. Contact Grabel & Associates, and our skilled defense attorneys in Lansing will get to work building your defense right away.
The state of Michigan defines theft as "larceny," which means a person steals property that legally belongs to another person. The definition of property extends to all of the following:
- Real estate deeds
- Public records
A more in-depth understanding of these items can be found in the Michigan Penal Code Section 750.356. Depending on what is stolen, how much it is worth, and the circumstances surrounding the theft will determine the type of consequence should a person be found guilty.
The lowest level of theft crime (commonly known as "petty larceny" under 750.356(5)) is considered a misdemeanor according to Michigan's laws. If the item stolen is valued at less than $200, this petty larceny conviction will come with no more than 93 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. In some cases, the worth of the stolen item is tripled, and the convicted person must pay that tripled amount. Both punishments may be used if the court sees fit.
A person who steals property valued between $200 and $1,000 will still be charged with a misdemeanor in Michigan. For this offense, a person may spend up to a full year in prison or pay a fine of $2,000. Again, the court may also triple the value of the stolen item, and if it is more than $2,000, the convicted person will more than likely pay that amount. Both punishments may be enforced (750.356)4)).
When the value of stolen property falls between $1,000 and $20,000 or is a trailer, motor vehicle, or a certain part of a motor vehicle, then a person may be charged with a felony, which is much more serious than a misdemeanor. A conviction might mean spending up to five years in prison or paying a fine of $10,000. If the value of the stolen property exceeds $10,000, then the convicted person will pay that much. Both punishments may be enforced so it is important that you have someone who can fight your charges (750.356c(3) and 750.356a(1)).
If the stolen property in question is valued at more than $20,000, the theft crime will be charged as a felony, and the convicted person may spend up to 10 years in prison or pay a fine of no more than $15,000. The triple value fine system is also in play here, and a convicted person can be ordered to serve time and pay the fine (750.356(2)(a)).
This is a brief outline of theft crime in Lansing, and there is a lot more to these laws than you may think. If you have been charged with a theft crime or suspect you will be, call the attorneys at Grabel & Associates. We will help you understand your charges and fight them.
In Michigan, property crime is not one action against someone else's property. It actually has several branches that all fall under the title of property crime, including:
- Larceny (as described above)
- Willful and malicious destruction of property
- Home invasion
Arson involves illegally burning or setting fire to one's property in order to burn, damage, or destroy it. Depending on the nature of the crime and the circumstances surrounding the crime, a person may spend anywhere from 10 years to life in prison. The consequences will be more severe if a greater amount of property is damaged or destroyed or if a person is injured or killed.
Home invasions have three degrees. A charge of home invasion in the third degree means the convicted entered another person's home without his or her permission while the home owner was out and committed a misdemeanor. This charge comes with five years in prison. In the second degree, the convicted person not only enters, but also he or she intends to commit a felony, larceny or assault. This person may face up to 15 years in prison. Finally, a first degree home invasion charges means that the intruder was also carrying a weapon, in addition to entering a home without permission and intending on committing a felony, larceny, or assault. This serious crime can lead to a 20-year prison sentence.
Many courts refer to willful and malicious destruction of property as vandalism. A person can be charged with this when he or she intentionally destroys another person's property. Vandalism is usually thought of as something bored teenagers do in Lansing's back alleys, but the penalties for vandalism can be quite severe. A person can spend between 93 days and 10 years in prison if convicted of willful and malicious destruction of property.
Contact Grabel & Associates
Theft and property crimes are no laughing matter. In Lansing, a person facing these charges could be staring down serious consequences that could result in a loss of character or reputation. A conviction could ruin a person's opportunities to get a good paying job or attend one of Michigan's great universities and colleges.
Do not face these charges alone. If you have been charged with either a theft or property crime or you think you will be soon, call Grabel at Associates. Our attorneys will provide expert legal counsel and representation as your case develops. We will fight for what is best for you and advise you every step of the way.
To contact Grabel & Associates, call us toll-free at 1-800-342-7896 or contact us through our website. Contact Grabel & Associates and get started on your case.