Criminal charges always feel daunting. Whether you  – or someone you know – were arrested for (or charged with) property crime in Fort Lauderdale, the prospect of jail, finding a criminal defense lawyer, and what this means for your future can certainly be overwhelming. Perhaps you haven’t even been arrested yet, but maybe the police are calling your phone or you’ve discovered you’re being investigated for a property crime. If this is your situation, do not hesitate to contact the expert South Florida property crimes lawyers at our firm today.

A man breaks into a house using a crowbar.

What is a Property Crime?

A property crime involves the taking of or destruction of someone else’s property without their consent. Because there are multiple crimes that fall under this category – such as burglary, trespassing and vandalism – and the severity of the crimes can vary, a Fort Lauderdale property crimes attorney can help determine if a charge may be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony.


Criminal Mischief

  • As a Fort Lauderdale attorney can further explain, criminal mischief is a property crime defined as the act of a person intentionally injuring or damaging any real or personal property belonging to someone else.  This includes acts of vandalism, graffiti, and other destructive behaviors.


  •  Burglary occurs where a person enters or remains in a dwelling, structure, or conveyance with the intent to commit a criminal offense in that place.


  •  Trespassing occurs when a person willfully enters upon or remains in any property other than a structure or conveyance without permission or when notice against entering or remaining is provided.

Possession of Burglary Tools

  • ​Possession of burglary tools involves having tools intended for the use of trespassing or burglary in your possession.


You need an experienced attorney on your side as property crime consequences in South Florida are serious. They can land you in jail or prison, depending on the severity of the offense. Because some property crimes are classified as misdemeanors, while others are considered felonies, there are a multitude of penalties for property crimes.

Criminal mischief is a second-degree misdemeanor when the property damage is $200 or less, and a first-degree misdemeanor when the damage runs between $200-$1,000. If the damage exceeds $1,000, or there is a disturbance to a public service which costs at least $1,000 to restore, it is a felony of the third-degree.

The penalties for burglary can carry severe penalties that range from 5 years in prison to life imprisonment.  If the crime location was not occupied at the time of the offense, a third-degree felony is committed, which can result in 5 years of prison or probation, and a $5,000 fine. If the building or conveyance was occupied, it is considered a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years of prison or probation, and a $10,000 fine.

When the offender is armed or commits assault or battery upon any person, it is a first-degree felony, which could result in a life sentence.

A Trespass in Structure or Conveyance is usually charged as a second degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail. When a Trespass on Property Other Than a Structure or Conveyance occurs, or a person is present in the structure at the time of the trespass, then it is considered a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail. When a defendant carries a firearm or other dangerous weapon in the course of any criminal trespass, the violation can be charged as a third -degree felony with a maximum prison term of up to 5 years.


If you, or someone you know, is facing a property crime charge – you’ve come to the right place. Rossen Law Firm has extensive experience providing a compassionate and expert defense to criminal mischief charges.

If you’re facing property crime charges in Fort Lauderdale, give our office a call. We’ll listen to your story and discuss the best course of action for you. One mistake shouldn’t have the power to

Front Cover of the Arrest Book.

 ruin your life, and we’re here to help ensure that’s true for you.

Free Property Crime Criminal Defense Strategy Session

We’ve successfully handled a variety of property crime cases and are confident we can give you the personalized and aggressive defense you deserve to protect your rights.

The Rossen Law Firm offers a FREE strategy session so you know how we’ll create a plan to get the best possible result for your case.

See all locations Rossen Law Firm practices Property Criminal Defense.


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