Property crimes are misdemeanor or felony offenses involving the theft or destruction of personal or public property. Examples of property crimes in Utah include theft, arson, burglary, and criminal mischief. If you are convicted of any these offenses, you face life-altering consequences for your freedom, your career, and your future. Not only can you be imprisoned, heavily fined, and ordered to pay restitution – you will also receive a criminal record, which can make it difficult to find work, rent apartments, obtain loans, travel abroad, or serve in the military.
If you have been arrested for property crimes in Salt Lake City, you need to approach the charges strategically. Get the legal help you need from a proven, trusted defense attorney with over 16 years of experience. To set up a free legal consultation, contact Overson Law, PLLC online, or call our law offices at (801) 758-2287 to speak with an attorney for property crimes in Salt Lake City. We are available 24/7 to provide you and your family with legal assistance, including emergency county jail visits throughout Utah.
Property Crimes in Salt Lake City
Offenses involving personal property are investigated by the Property Crimes Unit of the Salt Lake City Police Department, a 12-person unit which frequently partners with other law enforcement agencies to investigate alleged crimes. These agencies generally meet at least once a month “to share information and collaborate in solving property crimes” in the Salt Lake region.
In 2018, a statistical report based on FBI data ranked Salt Lake City as the number one city with the most property crimes per 1,000 people in the United States. The report found a property crime rate of more than 75 per 1,000 individuals in Salt Lake City.
What Are Examples of Crimes Against Property?
According to the FBI, the category of property crime broadly “includes the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.” At the state level, Chapter 6 of the Utah Criminal Code lists various “offenses against property,” which include, but are not limited to, the following crimes:
- Aggravated Arson – Utah Code § 76-6-103
- Aggravated Burglary – Utah Code § 76-6-203
- Arson – Utah Code § 76-6-102
- Burglary – Utah Code § 76-6-202
- Criminal Mischief – Utah Code § 76-6-106
- Criminal Trespass – Utah Code § 76-6-206
- Graffiti – Utah Code § 76-6-107
- Reckless Burning – Utah Code § 76-6-104
- Retail Theft (Shoplifting) – Utah Code § 76-6-602
- Theft – Utah Code § 76-6-404
- Vandalism of Public Lands – Utah Code § 76-6-107.5
- Wrongful Appropriation – Utah Code § 76-6-404.5
Can You Go to Jail for Property Crimes in Utah?
Jail or prison time is a potential sentencing outcome in many criminal cases involving property crimes. However, depending on factors like your criminal history, your age when you committed the offense, and the nature of the specific charge, you may be able to avoid incarceration by serving a sentence of probation instead. When a person is placed on probation, he or she is required to obey certain court-ordered conditions for a predetermined period of time, generally under the supervision of a probation officer.
The length of a jail or prison sentence in Utah depends on how the underlying offense is categorized. Possible categories include Class C misdemeanor, Class B misdemeanor, Class A misdemeanor, third degree felony, second degree felony, or first degree felony. Maximum sentences for each of these categories are provided below, along with several examples of offenses within each group, as follows:
- Class C Misdemeanor – Up to three months in jail
- Reckless burning ($150 to $499 in damage)
- Class B Misdemeanor – Up to six months in jail
- Graffiti (under $300 in damage)
- Theft (under $500)
- Vandalism of public lands
- Class A Misdemeanor – Up to approximately one year in jail (maximum sentence of 364 days)
- Criminal trespass (on a dwelling)
- Theft ($500 to $1,499)
- Third Degree Felony – Up to five years in prison
- Arson ($1,500 to $4,999 in damage)
- Burglary (of a non-dwelling)
- Second Degree Felony – Up to 15 years in prison
- Burglary (of a dwelling)
- Graffiti (over $5,000 in damage)
- First Degree Felony – Potential life sentence
- Aggravated arson
- Aggravated burglary
Within the ranges provided by state law or criminal statute, judges have some discretion over sentencing in each case. Skillful, strategic legal advocacy can shorten your sentence or, potentially, enable you to avoid jail time by serving probation. It may even be possible to have the charges against you dropped or dismissed, depending on the case.
Fines for Felony and Misdemeanor Property Crimes
Incarceration or probation is not the only consequence of a property crime conviction. You can also be ordered to pay expensive fines, depending on how the offense is categorized. Maximum criminal fines in Utah are as follows:
- Class C Misdemeanor – $750
- Class B Misdemeanor – $1,000
- Class A Misdemeanor – $2,500
- Third Degree Felony – $5,000
- Second Degree Felony – $10,000
- First Degree Felony – $10,000
If the offense was a Class C misdemeanor or Class B misdemeanor, it may be possible to avoid paying the fine by performing “compensatory service,” or unpaid work, as an alternative. However, in addition to criminal fines, you may also be ordered to pay restitution (compensation) to the victim to restore the financial losses resulting from the crime. You could even be sued in a separate civil lawsuit.
Salt Lake City Property Crime Defense Lawyer
Darwin Overson, founder of Overson Law, PLLC, is an aggressive, battle-tested courtroom attorney with an impressive record of case outcomes. Representing both juveniles and adults throughout the state of Utah, Darwin is dedicated to protecting your rights, mitigating penalties, and working to secure your freedom.
If you have been charged with any type of property crime in Utah, or if a family member has been arrested or taken into police custody, the time to act is now. Get hard-hitting legal representation committed to your case. For a free legal consultation, contact our law offices online, or call Overson Law, PLLC at (801) 758-2287 to speak with an attorney today.