Stealing or damaging another party’s property in Texas usually constitutes a property crime. Depending on the amount of damage caused by an alleged offender, property crimes may be misdemeanor or felony offenses.
Some people accused of property crimes either did not intend to cause any damage or believed that they had some kind of legal ownership claim over the property in question. When an alleged offender did not specifically intend to harm the property of another party, it can be very difficult for a prosecutor to obtain a conviction.
Property Crimes Lawyer in Plano, Allen, Frisco, and McKinney, TX
If you think you might be under investigation or you were arrested for any kind of alleged property offense in Collin County, it will be in your best interest to exercise your right to remain silent until you have legal counsel. Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy defends clients in McKinney, Plano, Allen, Frisco, and many surrounding areas of Collin County.
Plano criminal defense lawyers Richard McConathy and Brian Bolton will fight to help you achieve the most favorable outcome to your case, including possibly getting the criminal charges reduced or dismissed. Call (469) 304-3422 today to have our attorneys review your case and help you understand all of your legal options during a free, confidential consultation.
Types of Property Crimes in Texas
Criminal charges for alleged property offenses may be based on the testimony of eyewitnesses or the result of a criminal investigation. When an alleged offender is accused of a property crime, the specific criminal charge is based on the type of property involved and the grade of the offense is usually determined by the amount of damage caused.
An alleged offender’s prior criminal history can also impact the severity of the criminal charges that person faces. Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy handles such property crimes as:
- Burglary of a Vehicle
- Criminal Mischief
- Criminal Trespass
Property Crime Culpability and Defenses in Collin County
Chapter 6 of the Texas Penal Code addresses the general principles of criminal responsibility. Texas Penal Code § 6.02(b) establishes that if the definition of an offense does not prescribe a culpable mental state, a culpable mental state is nevertheless required unless the definition plainly dispenses with any mental element.
Culpable mental states are classified according to relative degrees, from highest to lowest, as follows:
- Intentional — A person acts intentionally, or with intent, with respect to the nature of his conduct or to a result of his conduct when it is his conscious objective or desire to engage in the conduct or cause the result;
- Knowing — A person acts knowingly, or with knowledge, with respect to the nature of his conduct or to circumstances surrounding his conduct when he is aware of the nature of his conduct or that the circumstances exist. A person acts knowingly, or with knowledge, with respect to a result of his conduct when he is aware that his conduct is reasonably certain to cause the result;
- Reckless — A person acts recklessly, or is reckless, with respect to circumstances surrounding his conduct or the result of his conduct when he is aware of but consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that its disregard constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise under all the circumstances as viewed from the actor’s standpoint; and
- Criminal Negligence — A person acts with criminal negligence, or is criminally negligent, with respect to circumstances surrounding his conduct or the result of his conduct when he ought to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that the failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise under all the circumstances as viewed from the actor’s standpoint.
It can be difficult for a prosecutor to prove an alleged offender’s culpable mental state. People accused of property crimes may also have additional defenses that could include duress or coercion if they were threatened to commit the alleged offenses, justification if they committed the alleged offenses in order to prevent a greater public or private harm, or mistake if they presumed the property was theirs or thought they had permission to commit certain offenses.
Texas Resources for Property Crimes
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) | Property Crime — The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program gathers crime statistics from law enforcement agencies across the nation. On this website, you can find all kinds of information relating to property crimes. You can sort data by the offense or by state, county, or city.
Texas Penal Code | Chapter 28 — Read the entire chapter of the Penal Code relating to offenses against property. You can find additional information about arson, criminal mischief, and reckless damage or destruction offenses. The chapter also covers interference with railroad property and graffiti crimes.
Find A Collin County Attorney to Fight Property Crimes | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
Were you arrested or do you believe that you could be under investigation in Collin County for any kind of alleged property offense? Do not say anything to authorities without legal counsel. Contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy as soon as possible.
Richard McConathy and Brian Bolton are experienced criminal defense attorneys in Plano who represent individuals all over Collin County, including Frisco, Allen, Plano, McKinney, and many others. They can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call (469) 304-3422 or complete an online contact form to take advantage of a free initial consultation.