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Property Crimes Attorney in Gonzales, Louisiana

Although often considered less severe than violent crimes, property crimes carry significant penalties under Louisiana law and can lead to serious consequences that can impact your life. Property crimes typically involve the theft or destruction of another person's property and can range from burglary and theft to arson and vandalism. 

At Allen V. Davis & Associates, we are experienced in defending our clients against a variety of property crime charges. Our approach combines a thorough legal knowledge of Louisiana law with strategic defense techniques to protect your rights and strive for the most favorable outcome.  

If you or someone you know is facing property crime charges, we're here to defend you. Located in Gonzales, Louisiana, we proudly serve clients in Baton Rouge, Livingston Parish, St. James Parish, and Jefferson Parish. 

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What Is a Property Crime?

In Louisiana, property crimes are offenses that involve the unauthorized taking, using, altering, damaging, or destruction of someone else’s property. These crimes are treated with the utmost seriousness by the judicial system due to their potential to significantly affect property values and community safety. Examples of property crimes include: 

  • Burglary: The unauthorized entry into a building or dwelling with the intent to commit theft or any other felony. 

  • Home Invasion: Similar to burglary, but with the added element of using or threatening to use force against someone inside the home. 

  • Theft/Larceny: The unauthorized taking of someone else’s property with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of that property permanently. Petty theft (property valued less than $1,000) is often considered a misdemeanor while grand theft (property valued above $1,000) is often classified as a felony. 

  • Auto Theft: A specific category of theft that involves the unauthorized taking of someone’s vehicle. 

  • Arson: Intentionally setting fire to property, buildings, or forests, which can endanger lives and cause significant property damage. 

  • Vandalism (Criminal Damage to Property): Willfully damaging or defacing someone else’s property without their consent. This can range from graffiti to the destruction of property. 

  • Shoplifting: The act of taking goods from a retail establishment without paying for them. 

The penalties for property crimes in Louisiana can vary widely based on the severity of the offense, the value of the property involved, and the defendant's criminal history.  

Penalties for Property Crimes in Louisiana

Louisiana imposes stringent penalties for property crimes. These are determined by the value of the property damaged or stolen and the specific circumstances of the crime. Often, consequences can include imprisonment, fines, restitution to victims, and a criminal record that can affect future opportunities. 

The specific penalties for property crimes in Louisiana can include, but are not limited to: 

  • Misdemeanor charges: For less severe property crimes, such as first-time shoplifting or petty theft, those charged may face misdemeanor offenses. This could include up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000 for criminal damage valued at less than $500. 

  • Felony charges: For more severe property crimes, such as grand theft or arson, defendants may face felony charges. This could include imprisonment for a minimum of one year and fines of up to $3,000 for criminal damage valued above $500. 

  • Fines and restitution payments: This includes compensation paid for the loss or damage caused to the victim’s property. More severe crimes often carry higher fines.  

  • Short-term or long-term imprisonment: Most property crimes can result in jail time. However, the length of a jail sentence can range from six months to 15-20 years, depending on the severity of the crime. More severe offenses or those involving large amounts of property can lead to longer sentences. 

  • Community service or probation: Especially for first-time offenders or lesser offenses, the court may order community service or probation instead of jail time. 

  • A permanent criminal record: Regardless of the charge, a permanent criminal record can have long-lasting consequences, which can hamper employment, housing, and educational opportunities. 

These penalties aim to deter offenders and mitigate the effects of such crimes on the victims and the community. At Allen V. Davis & Associates, we recognize the challenges that come with facing property crime charges. Our criminal defense attorney can build a robust defense strategy tailored to the specifics of your case. 

Understanding Louisiana's Property Crime Laws

In Louisiana, the statute of limitations for property crimes specifies a maximum time frame after an offense occurs within which legal proceedings can be initiated. Understanding these time constraints is crucial for both potential defendants and victims of property crimes.  

For most property crimes in Louisiana, including theft, burglary, and vandalism, the statute of limitations is set at four years from the date the crime was committed. However, there are exceptions based on the specific nature of the crime: 

  • For offenses involving the theft of assets worth more than $25,000, Louisiana law extends the statute of limitations to six years, acknowledging the complex nature of investigating and prosecuting higher-value crimes. 

  • Given its potential to cause severe damage and endanger lives, arson has a more extended statute of limitations. The state allows for the initiation of arson-related charges up to six years after the commission of the crime

The laws that govern property crimes in Louisiana can be found in Title 14 (sections 51 through 68) of the Louisiana Revised Statutes (LRS), which extensively details the types of property crimes recognized by the state, providing the legal definitions, penalties, and procedures for prosecuting these offenses.  

How We Can Help With Your Property Crime Defense

Facing property crime charges can feel overwhelming. Our criminal defense attorney at Allen V. Davis & Associates uses his extensive knowledge of Louisiana law to offer specialized criminal defense services for those accused of property crimes. Our services include: 

  • Crafting a Custom Defense Strategy: Every case is different, and we carefully craft a defense strategy that aligns with the specifics of your situation. 

  • Challenging Evidence: We scrutinize the prosecution's evidence for any inconsistencies or violations of your rights, from how evidence was obtained to questioning its authenticity. 

  • Negotiating Plea Deals: When possible, we will negotiate plea deals with the prosecution, which could result in reduced or dismissed charges. 

  • Defending You at Trial: Should your case go to trial, our seasoned attorney is prepared to defend you in court and advocate on your behalf.

Property Crime Defense Attorney in Gonzales, Louisiana

Property crime charges can have far-reaching effects. At Allen V. Davis & Associates, we’re committed to aggressively defending your rights and working towards the best possible outcome. If you or someone you know is facing property crime charges, contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can defend you against these charges.