Property Crimes

Property crimes are generally defined as an intentional criminal act that results in the taking or destruction of another person’s property without the owner’s consent.

Property crimes can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. Property crimes are usually distinguished from violent crimes that involve a threat of force or actual force to accomplish the taking of property. The most common type of property crimes involving violence include robbery.

In Florida, the most common types of property crimes in Florida include theft, fraud, criminal mischief, burglary, and arson.

Attorneys for Property Crimes in Tampa, FL

The criminal defense attorneys at the Sammis Law Firm, P.A., represent clients throughout the greater Tampa Bay area for a variety of criminal offenses classified as “property crimes.”

Before you speak with any law enforcement officer about the allegations against you, call us to speak to an attorney about your case’s specific facts and circumstances.

Our offices are in downtown Tampa, just a few blocks from the courthouse. We also have offices in Clearwater in Pinellas County and New Port Richey in Pasco County, FL.

Call (813) 250-0500 today.

Different Types of Property Crimes in Florida

For most property crimes, the severity of the offense depends on the value of the property taken or damaged. Finding the proper valuation of the property is often an important part of the defense. Types of property crimes commonly prosecuted in Florida include the following:

Property crimes are defined as criminal acts that occur when a person takes another person’s property without consent. When a person destroys another person’s property, it is also considered a property crime under Florida law.

Florida law also criminalizes various behaviors related to fraudulently obtaining or damaging property that a person does not own.

For instance, Section 817.03, F.S., provides that any person who makes or causes to be made any false statement, in writing, relating to his or her financial condition, assets or liabilities, or relating to the financial condition, assets or liabilities of any firm or corporation in which such person has a financial interest, or for whom he or she is acting, with a fraudulent intent of obtaining credit, goods, money or other property, and by such false statement obtain credit, goods, money or other property, is guilty of a first degree misdemeanor.

Section 806.13, F.S., provides criminal penalties for acts of criminal mischief. A person commits criminal mischief if he or she willfully and maliciously injures or damages by any means any real or personal property belonging to another, including, but not limited to, the placement of graffiti thereon or other acts of vandalism.

The way the crime of criminal mischief is changed depends, in part, on whether the damage to the property is:

  • Two-hundred dollars ($200) or less – second degree misdemeanor;
  • Greater than $200 but less than $1,000 – first degree misdemeanor.
  • One thousand dollars ($1,000) or greater – a third degree felony.

The crime of criminal mischief might also be changed as a third degree felony if there is an impairment or interruption of a business operation or public communications, transportation, supply of water, gas or power, or other public service that costs $1,000 or more in labor and supplies to restore.

Section 810.08, F.S., provides that a person commits the criminal offense of trespass in a structure or conveyance if the person:

  • without being authorized, licensed, or invited;
  • either:
    • willfully enters or remains in any structure or conveyance; or,
    • having been authorized, licensed, or invited, is warned by the owner or lessee of the premises, or by a person authorized by the owner or lessee, to depart and refuses to do so.

Related Links for Property Crime Statistics

FBI’s Property Crime Statistics in the UCR Program – The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program shows crime statistics for property crimes including larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, burglary, and arson. The website includes crime statistics compiled by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). Find graphs and figures showing a five-year trend from 2006-2010 which shows the estimated number of offenses over the last five years.

National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) – published by the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). The NCVS shows crime statistics for certain property crimes, including theft, burglary, and motor vehicle theft. These crime statistics are based on surveys of a sample of households. Therefore, the property crime statistics do not include crimes against businesses. The benefit of the household survey method for measuring property crimes includes measuring crimes against household members by other family members or friends, even when those crimes are not reported to law enforcement. Any property crimes reported to law enforcement are also included in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR).

Florida’s Property Crime at a Glance – Visit the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) website to find information on property crime in Florida from 1994 through 2014. The site shows the percent change in number and rate over the last ten (10) years. View a graph showing the number of offenses against the rate per 100,000. Property crimes included in the study include motor vehicle theft, larceny, and burglary. The statistics show a significant drop in the number and rate of property offenses reported over the past ten (10) years. SOURCE: Florida Statistical Analysis Center: FDLE (1994-2014). Crime in Florida, Florida uniform crime report [Computer program].

This article was updated on Friday, April 12, 2024.