What Constitutes a Property Crime?

Understanding Property Crimes

Most often, when you think about criminal acts, you think about crimes against people. But the law includes a wide range of offenses involving the property of others. This blog post provides an overview of the common property crimes.

At the Law Offices of Gregg Wisotsky, I have protected the rights of criminal defendants for more than two decades, including people charged with property crimes. I offer a free phone consultation to every new client. Call me at 973-241-7468 or contact my office online for a private meeting.

Property Crimes in New Jersey

While property crimes are limited to criminal offenses that involve the unauthorized taking of money or property, there are many ways that this can be done, including:

  • Theft, or larceny — Typically broken down by degree (dollar amount value of the property taken), this type of crime is generally referred to as petty theft/petty larceny or grand theft/grand larceny. This crime requires that the perpetrator take the property of another person without permission, and with the intent to permanently deprive.
  • Burglary — A burglary occurs when a perpetrator enters into real property of another, without permission, for the purpose of committing an illegal act. Though that act is usually theft, it could be destruction of property as well
  • Fraud — Fraud usually involves the taking of money, but can also occur when personal property or real property is conveyed. Fraud requires an intentional misrepresentation of fact. The fact must be material (or essential) to the transaction that leads to the conveyance of money or property. In addition, the reliance on the representation must be reasonable. Fraud can take a seemingly endless variety of forms, including consumer fraud, insurance fraud, bankruptcy fraud, bank fraud, mortgage fraud and investment fraud, to name only a few.
  • White collar crimes — Technically a type of fraud, white collar crimes are customarily forms of embezzlement or misappropriation of funds/property. They are typically tied to a person’s access to financial information or property because of their position in a company.
  • Arson — Arson occurs when a person intentionally sets fire to personal or real property.
  • Malicious destruction of property — Sometimes referred to as vandalism, this offense involves the intentional misuse of real or personal property without permission.

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