Accusations of property crime could lead to large fines, jail time, restitution payments, and employment problems. Employers won’t trust you around money or things of value. Banks might not trust you with loans. You can’t afford to be seen as a thief — not if there’s any way to clear your name. Maybe the property was yours to begin with. Maybe your ex is making up a story to get leverage in a divorce or other civil proceeding. A property crime or theft lawyer can review the charges against you and help you determine what defenses may be available.
Des Moines Property Crime Lawyers
Remember that in order to convict you, the prosecutors have to prove every element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt — including the intent or “mens rea” element.
At Clark and Sears Law, PLLC, we defend the rights and liberties of good people who are accused of bad things. An Iowa property crimes attorney might be able find you a viable path to reasonable doubt, thus saving you from paying thousands in fines and spending time locked up away from your family.
Get out of trouble and get back to life. Call Katherine Sears at Clark and Sears Law, PLLC, now at (515) 491 6128 to set up a free consultation. A receptionist is available 24/7 to take your call.
The criminal defense lawyers at Clark and Sears Law, PLLC, are based in Des Moines and Ankeny and represent defendants throughout Polk County and the rest of Iowa.
There are many types of property crime. Some of the ones you might be familiar with include:
- Receiving stolen property
- Identity theft
- Criminal mischief
There are a number of different things that could earn you a theft conviction. The first and most obvious is taking somebody’s stuff with the intent to deprive them of it. It also includes intentionally keeping stuff that you were only allowed to borrow or rent, embezzlement, “dine and dash,” and stealing office supplies.
Read more about Iowa theft charges.
Receiving stolen property
If you have property that you know was stolen or that you have reason to believe was stolen, you could be convicted of “receiving stolen property” under Iowa law. This includes things like buying stolen gods and reselling them on eBay or at a pawn shop, “fencing,” etc.
Read more about Iowa receiving stolen property charges.
Walmart, Target, and others are out to stop ongoing thefts at their stores. If you walk out with their property in your pocket or purse, skip something into a bag at the self-checkout, hide objects inside of other objects, or eat something you haven’t paid for (talking to you, guy or girl who’s facing a Theft 5th misdemeanor for eating $3 worth of chicken fries while wandering through a Walmart), they’re going to pull you into a back room, question you, call the police, and turn security video over to the prosecution.
Read more about Iowa shoplifting charges.
If you use someone else’s info to get something of value, you’re probably facing a charge ranging in severity from an aggravated misdemeanor to a class “C” felony. Additionally, whatever you got of value is subject to forfeiture. Your victim may file a claim for damages and you may have to pay their attorneys’ fees.
All a misunderstanding?
Read more about Iowa identity theft charges.
You don’t have to burn down a building to be convicted of arson (although, let’s be clear, that is arson.) In one well-known local case, a man was convicted to 16 years for (hate crime, harassment, reckless use of fire as a habitual offender and) arson involving setting a stolen pride flag on fire.
Causing a fire or explosion is arson. So is putting burning material or explosive devices in or near property if you intend to destroy or damage the property or if you know the property will probably be destroyed or damaged.
Causing a fire or explosion that damages property while manufacturing or attempting to manufacture a controlled substance (such as methamphetamine) is also arson — even if the owner of the property consents to what you’re doing and even if you did it in a way that didn’t unreasonably endanger anyone’s life or property.
Read more about Iowa arson charges.
Graffiti, vandalism, and writing angry messages on your ex’s property are examples of criminal mischief.
If someone accuses you of damaging, defacing, altering, or destroying property, you might be facing criminal mischief charges.
Read more about Iowa criminal mischief charges.
If you go to someone’s property without their express permission and you intend to commit a public offense, to use, take, or damage any of their stuff, to put anything on their property or take anything away from it, or to hunt, fish, or trap, you may have done a trespass. Additionally, if you go to or stay on someone’s property without justification after they (or a police officer, etc.) told you to leave, that can be trspass.
Read more about Iowa trespass charges.
Robbery involves intending to commit a theft and doing any of these things:
- Assaulting someone
- Threatening someone with immediate serious injury
- Purposely making someone afraid of immediate serious injury
- Threatening to immediately commit any forcible felony.
It doesn’t actually matter whether or not you ended up stealing anything; that you intended to commit a theft when one of those things happened is what’s relevant.
Read more about Iowa robbery charges.
If you go into an occupied structure that isn’t open to the public (or if you stay there after you’re supposed to leave) when you aren’t supposed to be there and if you intend to commit a felony, assault, or theft in that structure, you may be facing burglary charges.
Read more about Iowa burglary charges.
Defense lawyers for property crimes in Des Moines, Polk County, Ankeny, Ames, Johnston, West Des Moines, Waukee, Saylorville, Bondurant, Altoona, Clive, Grimes, Pleasant Hill, Story County, Boone County, Marshall County, Dallas County, Jasper County, Madison County, Warren County, Marion County, Wapello County, Davis County, Ottumwa, Bloomfield, Iowa City, Council Bluffs, and the rest of Iowa.
This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be relied on as legal advice. Consult with a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction. Reading this site doesn’t create an attorney-client relationship. If you want to talk to us about your property crime accusation in Iowa, please contact us at (515) 491 6128 and we’ll set up a time to talk.