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Property Crimes in Lexington

Serving Lexington, Columbia and Other Locations in South Carolina

Property crimes are those involving theft, embezzlement, dishonesty, or deceit. Most are considered to be crimes of moral turpitude under South Carolina law, which means that even the most minor of property crime offenses could have a lifetime disastrous effect on one's ability to obtain a job, professional license or a concealed carry weapons permit.

Attorney James R. Snell is available to assist those charged with a property crime in Lexington. If you or a loved one is accused of any property crime then you should immediately obtain the services of a Lexington criminal defense attorney who is knowledgeable with property crimes. Please call the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC for your free case evaluation.

Common Types of Property Crimes

Burglary First Degree
S.C. Code §16-11-311
Burglary first degree, or housebreaking, is a felony punishable by a minimum sentence of 15 years to life imprisonment. It is prosecuted in the court of general sessions by the solicitor's office. A defendant charged with this crime will have their bond set by general sessions, and not by the bond court located at the detention center or county jail. Burglary first degree is considered more serious because it either involves a defendant with a prior record of burglaries, use or possession of a weapon, or a nighttime entry. This is one of the most serious offenses under South Carolina law.

Burglary Second Degree
S.C. Code §16-11-312
Burglary second degree, or housebreaking, is a felony punishable by up to 15 years' imprisonment. It is prosecuted in the court of general sessions by the solicitor's office. A defendant charged with this offense, and the other burglary offenses is eligible for an ordinary bond setting. Burglary second degree may either be considered a violent or non-violent offense for purposes of sentencing, which will affect what percentage of the sentence must actually be served prior to eligibility for parole or other release.

Burglary Third Degree
S.C. Code §16-11-313
Burglary third degree, or housebreaking, is a felony punishable by up to five years' imprisonment. It is prosecuted in the court of general sessions by the solicitor's office. A defendant charged with this offense is eligible for an ordinary bond setting.

Possession of Burglary Tools
S.C. Code §16-11-20
Possession of burglary tools is a felony punishable by up to five years' imprisonment. It is prosecuted in the court of general sessions by the solicitor's office. It is the making or possessing of a tool commonly used in the commission of a burglary. Under South Carolina law, even keys and ordinary hand tools have been determined to be burglary tools.

Safecracking
S.C. Code §16-11-390
Safecracking is a felony punishable by up to 30 years' imprisonment. Safecracking is prosecuted in the court of general sessions by the solicitor's office. It is the forcible entry, using tools or explosives, into a safe or other storage container for jewelry, money or other valuables, with the intent to commit a larceny or other crime. Depending on the defendant's prior record, one may not be eligible for probation or actually receive a life sentence for this offense.

Bank Robbery
S.C. Code §16-11-380
Bank robbery is a felony punishable by up to 30 years' imprisonment. Bank robbery is prosecuted in the court of general sessions by the solicitor's office. This offense may be prosecuted in either federal court or state court, and the information contained herein is based on the South Carolina charge of bank robbery. One may be convicted if one obtains or attempts to obtain money or other valuables or securities by force, threat, or the appearance or force.

Armed Robbery
S.C. Code §16-11-30
Armed robbery is a felony punishable by a minimum of 10 up to 30 years' imprisonment. Armed robbery is prosecuted in the court of general sessions by the solicitor's office. It is a Robbery accompanied by the use, or threat, of a deadly weapon such as a firearm, knife, or club.

Strong Armed Robbery
(Highway Robbery)
Strong armed robbery, or highway robbery, is a felony punishable by up to 15 years' imprisonment. Strong armed robbery is prosecuted in the court of general sessions by the solicitor's office. It is the use of force or threat to take the property of another from their immediate possession.

Blackmail and Extortion
S.C. Code §16-17-64
Blackmail or extortion is a felony punishable by up to ten years' imprisonment or a fine of $5,000. It is prosecuted in the court of general sessions by the solicitor's office. It is the attempt to obtain something of value by threatening to reveal a private or business affair of another or by making someone do, or not do something, by threatening to reveal a private or business affair.

Grand Larceny, Petit Larceny
S.C. Code §16-13-30
Grand larceny is a felony punishable by up to ten years' imprisonment depending on the exact amount of the goods stolen. Grand larceny is the theft of goods valued at more than $1,000. Petit larceny, also known as petty larceny, is the theft of goods valued at less than $1,000 and is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days' imprisonment. Larceny is either prosecuted in either the magistrate court by the arresting office or the court of general sessions by the solicitor's office.

Altering or Tampering with Electric, Gas, or Water Meters
S.C. Code §16-13-385
Altering or tampering with electric, gas, or water meters is a misdemeanor punishable by up to three years' imprisonment depending on the defendant's prior record. It is prosecuted in either the magistrate court by the arresting office or the court of general sessions by the solicitor's office. It is the crime of interfering with or bypassing any electric, gas, water, or other utility meter. Often times it is a companion charge to burglary in that the defendant will be accused of attempting to disconnect the power or telephone service in an attempt to disengage an alarm system.

Shoplifting
S.C. Code §19-13-110
Shoplifting is either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the value of the goods or merchandise involved. It is not necessary to actually leave the store or merchant's area to be charged or convicted of this offense. Misdemeanor shoplifting involves goods under $1,000 and is prosecuted in the magistrate court usually by the arresting office. Felony shoplifting involves goods valued at more than $1,000 and is prosecuted in the court of general sessions by the solicitor's office. Misdemeanor shoplifting is punishable by up to 30 days' imprisonment, and felony shoplifting is punishable by up to ten years' imprisonment.

Receiving Stolen Goods
S.C. Code §16-13-180
Receiving stolen goods is either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the value of the goods involved. Misdemeanor receiving stolen goods involves goods under $1,000 and is prosecuted in the magistrate court usually by the arresting officer. Felony receiving stolen goods involves goods valued at more than $1,000 and is prosecuted in the court of general sessions by the solicitor's office. Misdemeanor receiving stolen goods is punishable by up to 30 days' imprisonment, and felony receiving stolen goods is punishable by up to ten years' imprisonment.

Forgery
S.C. Code §16-13-10
Forgery is either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the dollar amounts involved. Felony forgery involves goods valued at more than $1,000 and is prosecuted in the court of general sessions by the solicitor's office. Misdemeanor receiving stolen goods is punishable by up to 30 days' imprisonment, and felony receiving stolen goods is punishable by up to ten years' imprisonment.

Insurance Fraud
S.C. Code §38-55-170
Insurance fraud is either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the dollar amounts involved. Felony insurance fraud involves dollar amounts more than $1,000 and is prosecuted in the court of general sessions by the solicitor's office or the South Carolina Attorney General's Office. It is punishable by up to ten years' imprisonment. Misdemeanor insurance fraud involves dollar amounts less than $1,000 and is prosecuted in the magistrate's court usually by the arresting officer. There are special statutes dealing with false fire damage claims. Anyone who believes that an adjuster in an existing insurance claim suspects them of insurance fraud should immediately consult with a criminal defense attorney knowledgeable in the area of insurance fraud prior to making any further oral or written statements.

Drawing and Uttering Bad Checks, Check Fraud
S.C. Code §34-1160
Drawing and uttering ad checks or check fraud is either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the dollar amounts involved. Felony check fraud is a prosecuted in the court of general sessions by the solicitor's office and involves checks over $1,000 and is punishable by up to ten years' imprisonment. Misdemeanor check fraud is prosecuted in the magistrate court by either the arresting officer or the merchant and is punishable by up to 30 days' imprisonment.

Breach of Trust with Fraudulent Intent, Embezzlement
S.C. Code §16-13-230
Breach of trust or embezzlement is either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the dollar amounts involved. Felony breach of trust with fraudulent intent or embezzlement is prosecuted in the court of general sessions by the solicitor's office. It involves amounts of more than $1,000 and is punishable by up to ten years' imprisonment. Misdemeanor breach of trust with fraudulent intent or embezzlement is prosecuted in the magistrate court usually by the arresting officer. This offense is differentiated from grand larceny or petit larceny in that the defendant must be shown to have been entrusted by the owner with the items they stole or converted for their own use.

Use of Vehicle without Permission, Joyriding
S.C. Code §16-21-60
Use of a vehicle without permission, or joyriding, is a misdemeanor prosecuted in the court of general sessions by the solicitor's office. It is punishable by up to three years' imprisonment. This is a form of automobile theft that may also apply to the unauthorized "borrowing" of another's vehicle.

Trespassing
S.C. Code §16-11-610
This is the unauthorized entry onto the lands or buildings of another. This offense can be tried in the magistrate court, municipal court, or court of general sessions. Those convicted face a fine and / or up to 30 days in jail. Trespassing is a criminal offense.

Let a Knowledgeable Lexington Criminal Defense Attorney Fight for You

Searching for experienced legal representation in Lexington, SC? Don't hesitate to contact us for help when you have been charged with a property crime. The Lexington criminal defense lawyers of the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC have extensive experience defending clients in a wide variety of cases, and whether you have been accused of shoplifting or armed robbery, we can fight for you.

Contact us now for a free consultation to discuss your concerns and to learn about strategies we can use in your defense.

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