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Property Crimes

Property crimes include any offense that impacts one's right to property

Most commonly, people are charged with theft or trespass. Burglary, embezzlement, and other financial crimes would also fall in this category.
Theft crimes include petit larceny, grand larceny, and shoplifting.  Shoplifting can be charged as either petit larceny or grand larceny, the difference between these two charges is based on value.  If the value of the property is $200 or more, it is considered grand larceny, which is a felony with a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.  The Commonwealth must prove that the defendant took the property, the value of the property (for grand larceny), that the property belonged to another, and the defendant intended to permanently deprive the owner of the property.  Often, restitution, or paying back the value of the stolen property, is involved in these cases as well.  The best defense to these crimes is to attack the property's value, the ownership of the property, or the defendant's intent.
Trespass requires the defendant to have been on the property of another without permission, but the defendant must have notice to be convicted of trespass.  This is a very technical defense, and this is not often charged.  Most commonly, trespass stems from a parson having been barred from a store or shopping center, and returning there.
Embezzlement is a crime that occurs when a person who is trusted with another's money takes that money.  An example would be a bank teller taking the bank's money that they are responsible for, or a store clerk activating gift cards for their own use without paying for them.  These cases can sometimes involve large sums of money that stem from corporate activities, pension funds, or investment brokers. Often, these cases can become federal charges.

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