In Maine, crimes against are considered serious offenses and can carry stiff penalties. If you've been arrested in connection with a property crime it’s in your best interest contact an attorney for a consultation as soon as possible.
Crimes against property are any offenses that involve damage to, or the taking of, someone’s property. There are many property crimes, including criminal mischief, robbery and arson. Because of the range of different offenses, Maine law treats property offenses in a variety of ways.
Criminal Mischief as defined in Maine law (17-A M.R.S.A. §806) is the destruction or damage of someone else’s property. Maine law classifies criminal mischief as a Class D misdemeanor, meaning it carries a possible sentence of one year of incarceration. The offense can become a felony if the property involved has a value over $2,000; is the property of law enforcement, utilities or other public service entity; the damage endangers human life; the damage is caused by fire but the property is not a dwelling; or the damage causes substantial harm to the victim.
Arson as defined in Maine law (17-A M.R.S.A. §802) is similar to criminal mischief, except that it specifically involves the use of fire or explosives to damage the property. Arson is a Class A felony, meaning it carries a possible sentence of up to 30 years.
Robbery as defined in Maine law (17-A M.R.S.A §651) involves the theft of someone else’s personal property with some threat or use of force. If the person causes bodily injury to another person while committing theft, it is a Class B felony, meaning it carries a possible sentence of up to 10 years. Similarly, it becomes a Class B felony where the person intends either to overcome resistance to the taking of property, or to compel another to give up property by the threat of use of force. If the threat becomes the actual use of force, the offense becomes a Class A felony. If the person is armed with a dangerous weapon, it can also become a Class A felony.
Property crimes also typically involve restitution demands. If convicted, the defendant will be required to pay the victim for the value of the property damaged, destroyed or taken.
If you have questions regarding a property crimes defense, call us at 800-660-3713 or fill out our free inquiry form for more information.