Although Connecticut averages just below 22 property crimes per 1000 residents, New Haven sees roughly 45 property crimes per 1000 residents annually. Persons accused of burglary, larceny, damage to structures and similar property crimes can arm themselves with knowledge of how the law interprets criminal conduct, and what presumptive and maximum sentences come with various acts against structures and the people within them.
According to Connecticut statute, property crime encompasses either the reckless damage or theft of property through illegal means, although the severity and statute they fall under could vary slightly.
What types of property crimes does Connecticut recognize?
This will amaze you:
Connect laws recognize several types of proper crime, each having a varying level of severity and presumptive sentences.
The more common property crimes include:
- Vandalism, which may defer to criminal damage or mischief to property, entails the defacement or otherwise mistreatment of personal or business property.
- Larceny, also known by theft, grand larceny and similar names, is charged when someone takes items of value from another’s property without intent to return.
- Robbery is basically larceny by using excessive force, such as by battering or holding an individual at gunpoint to take items.
- Burglary involves breaking into one’s domicile, by force, with the intention of either stealing items or causing a nuisance. Kicking someone’s door in, battering an individual and leaving fall into burglary’s scope.
- Arson is the act of setting personal or business property ablaze with the intent to cause harm to the structure. If individuals are inside the building, charges can extend to murder.
Damaging railroads, government structures, and similarly uncommon property crimes are treated on an individual basis, although adjudication for public property destruction or crimes against communities can get pretty harsh.
What sentences can be imposed?
You'd be surprised:
Each crime carries its own level of severity. Vandalism could be charged as misdemeanor crimes, whereas arson and burglary are often high-level felonies with extended prison sentences expected. In some cases, arson that causes death to another could be treated capitally.
The Connecticut General Assembly constantly updates the Penal Code and range of penalties for various crimes.
Felonies range from probation to life without parole in property crime cases, with many factors dictating what sentence the prosecution seeks. Enhancements, such as involuntarily killing an unborn fetus, harming an elderly person or robbing public servants are possible.
What must the State prove in property crime cases?
Here's the kicker:
Prosecutors, during criminal proceedings in property crime cases, must prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt and prove intent. This element is vital in making charges stick against those accused of varying levels of property and personal injury. For example, not everyone who enters a building intends to commit additional crimes. Therefore, a defense to burglary would be that nothing was stolen, therefore the crime should be reduced to unlawful entry.
In cases like theft or larceny, the state must prove you had no intention of returning the item stolen. And, in cases where arson is presumed, states must find accelerants or have witnesses to prove your intention was to set the structure ablaze. To defend a potential murder that stems from arson, the state must prove you knew individuals were inside the structure.
Since so many variables in property crime cases exist, it is best to retain counsel immediately.
*This article is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
Accused of property crimes in New Haven and surrounding areas? Knight & Cerritelli will fight to defend your innocence. New Haven property crimes attorneys can be reached at: https://www.kclawyers.net. Or by phone at (203) 624-6115.