Property crimes are offenses in which someone intentionally damages, destroys or steals another person’s property.
An individual facing criminal charges for property crimes needs to understand these crimes and their consequences.
Burglary involves entering someone’s dwelling or building without permission and with the intent to commit a theft or a felony inside. The law in Georgia classifies burglary into three degrees, each varying in severity based on the property involved and the circumstances of the crime.
Shoplifting and theft
A common property crime that affects retailers and consumers alike is shoplifting. It involves taking merchandise from a store without paying for it. In Georgia, shoplifting can lead to fines, probation and jail time.
Theft encompasses taking someone’s property with the intent to deprive the owner permanently. This includes stealing a car (auto theft), taking someone’s phone without permission (theft by taking) or deceitfully acquiring someone’s property (theft by deception).
Vandalism, also known as criminal damage in Georgia, includes acts like graffiti, breaking windows and damaging someone’s property intentionally.
Arson is a severe property crime in Georgia. It involves intentionally setting fire to a building or structure, whether inhabited or not. It poses severe risks not only to property but also to people’s lives. Someone committing arson is breaking the law and can face severe penalties.
Being aware of these property crimes is important because they can have serious consequences. Convictions can lead to hefty fines, probation and jail or prison time. Moreover, having a criminal record for a property crime can severely affect one’s future, making it difficult to secure employment, housing or loans.