Crimes Against Property

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Crimes against Property, Social Crimes, what is Crime?

Sharon Cokley

POL: 303 the American Constitution

Richard Golfin

September 10, 2012


Crimes against properties are labeled into two categories; there are crimes in which properties are destroyed and there is crime in which properties are stolen or taken against the owners will. Property crime does not involve force or threat of force against a person. Arson, vandalism, larceny, robbery, burglary, extortion, forgery, and receiving stolen goods, fall under the category of crimes against property.

Each state has their own guidelines for sentencing a person for arson. A person who uses explosions is usually considered a high level offense and therefore will be sentenced under the federal guidelines. The arson or attempted arson of any property carries a statutory minimum sentence of 5 years and a maximum of 20 years. If any person is injured in the arson or attempted arson, the statutory minimum is 7 years and maximum is 40 years, and if the fire results in the death of a firefighter or other person the defendant may receive up to life in prison, or even be subject to the death penalty.

Vandalism is not a serious crime unless the property destroyed is worth a lot of money. Many acts of vandalism are misdemeanors, meaning the maximum penalties include fines and up to a year in the local jail. However, vandalism that results in serious damage to valuable property is a felony. Defendants charged with a felony can face more than a year in state prison and significant fines. A person who has a previous criminal record or is not a first time offender may be sentenced, (depending on their states law) to a few days in jail or several years. They may be fined, have to pay restitution, or put on probation.

Larceny charges have a number of different factors when sentencing occurs. They must first know what their states law is for a particular crime. Whether the...