How does California define property crimes?
The first important point to understand if you have been charged with criminal activity in Los Angeles is the need to comprehend exactly what type of crime you are being charged with. The general public might assume that crime is simply crime, yet from a legal perspective, there are crimes against persons, against public safety, and crimes against property. Knowing the type of activity you stand accused of might help you better comprehend why you are facing charges (if it is still unclear to you), and how to defend yourself from them.
Specifically referring to crimes against property, the California Penal Code includes the categories that many may already expect, such as:
- Crimes against insured property
- Interference with property
Yet also included in this designated range of criminal activity is embezzlement, forgery and extortion. While you might consider these to be financial crimes, a closer examination of each reveals that they involve the misuse of property. In the case of embezzlement, that is the misappropriation of another’s property. Extortion is the unlawful obtaining of property through the use of force, fear or under color of official right (or the claim of a public office). Even forgery involves what might a person’s most important piece of property: their identity.
The use of instruments or weapons to gain unlawful entry into a property is also considered to be a property crime, as is securing bail under false pretenses. The state also views issuing fraudulent titles to assets or merchandise, along with the unauthorized subleasing of vehicles as being property crimes.