When faced with property crime charges, understanding the types of crimes and potential consequences helps you prepare for what lies ahead.
Like with most crimes, different factors greatly impact the outcome. These may include the amount stolen and whether you used force.
1. What does the law consider a property crime?
In Missouri, property theft means that you have appropriated another person’s property without consent. The most common include:
- Arson: Destroying or damaging a building or property via fire or explosives
- Burglary: Entering a property unlawfully with intent to steal
- Robbery: Taking money or property by force
- Shoplifting: Stealing and concealing unpaid merchandise
- Vandalism: Destroying or damaging property
2. What consequences does a conviction come with?
The state categorizes the above crimes into different classes from A to E, as well as first-degree, second-degree and misdemeanor. If charged with a Class A felony, you may face 10 to 30 years in prison while a Class E felony may come with a four-sentence and hefty fine. Misdemeanor theft applies to stealing items valued under $750. Sentences vary from up to a one-year sentence for a Class A charge to a $500 fine for Class D.
3. Do property crime convictions come with an expungement?
Beginning Jan. 1, 2022, a new expungement law when into effect in Missouri. A person convicted of a property crime may file an expungement petition seven years after a felony and one year after a misdemeanor.
Regardless of the change, Missouri has a three-strikes rule. Becoming a repeat offender may leave you in the dust for expungement or increase the chances of a harsh sentence.