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Queens Property Crime Attorney

Property Crimes

A conviction for committing a property crime in New York can lead to serious repercussions, including jail or prison time and fines. However, if convicted of certain property crimes you may be eligible for probation or deferred adjudication.

It is, therefore, important to hire a criminal defense attorney who is experienced in defending property crime accusations, who will make every effort to have the charges dismissed or reduced for a lesser sentence.

Queens Property Crimes Defense Attorney

Contact the Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner if you have been charged with a property crime in all areas of New York City, including Kings County, New York County, Bronx County or Queens County. Rochelle S. Berliner is experienced and knowledgeable in New York's crimes against property, and will help you avoid harsh punishments and penalties.

Call the Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner at 718-261-5600 for a consultation about your alleged property violation.


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Property Crimes Quick Links


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Common New York Property Offenses and Statutes

Graffiti Statute under New York Penal Law

Making Graffiti, according to New York Penal Law § 145.60, is drawing, etching, painting, covering or otherwise marking on public or private property with the intent to damage the property and without permission to do so. This is a class A misdemeanor and is vigorously enforced in New York, particularly in Queens County.


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Arson Statute under New York Penal Law

According to New York Penal Law §§ 150 – 150.20, a person can be charged with Arson in the First, Second, Third, Fourth or Fifth Degree for intentionally damaging the property of another person without consent by intentionally starting a fire or causing an explosion. That is the definition of Arson in the Fifth Degree.

The charge gets bumped up to Arson in the Fourth Degree when the conduct is reckless and the property is a building or a motor vehicle.

The charge gets bumped up to Arson in the Third Degree when the conduct is intentional and the property is a building or a motor vehicle. The charge gets further bumped up to Arson in the Second Degree when another person (a non-participant in the crime) is in the building or motor vehicle and when the defendant should know that there is a reasonable possibility that someone is in the building or motor vehicle.

Finally, the charge gets bumped up to Arson in the First Degree when the explosion: is caused by a container holding a flammable substance that was thrown or placed inside the building or motor vehicle, or is caused by an explosive; or when the explosion or fire causes serious physical injury to a non-participant in the crime; or when there is a financial gain expected by the person who set the fire or explosive.

Arson in the First Degree (Penal Law §150.20) is a class A-I violent felony; Arson in the Second Degree (Penal Law § 150.15) is a class B violent felony; Arson in the Third Degree (Penal Law § 150.10) is a class C non-violent felony; Arson in the Fourth Degree (Penal Law § 150.05) is a class E non-violent felony; and Arson in the Fifth Degree (Penal Law § 150.10) is a class A misdemeanor.


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Criminal Trespass Statute Under New York Penal Law

Criminal Trespass occurs when a person knowingly enters or remains in a building or on real property unlawfully, according to New York Penal Law §§ 140.10 – 140.17. This offense can be in the First, Second or Third Degree, depending on the type of building and what it is used for, whether the building is a dwelling, whether the alleged offender was armed, and the classification of the offender.

Criminal Trespass in the First Degree (Penal Law § 140.17) is a class D non-violent felony; Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree (Penal Law § 140.15) is a class A misdemeanor; and Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree (Penal Law § 140.10) is a class B misdemeanor.


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Burglary Statute under New York Penal Law

Burglary is defined in New York Penal Law §§ 140.20 – 140.30 as entering or remaining unlawfully in a building with the intent to commit a crime inside. This is the definition of Burglary in the Third Degree.

The charge gets bumped up to Burglary in the Second Degree if the building is a dwelling (a home) or if, while entering or inside the building or in fleeing from the building, the defendant or another participant in the crime is: armed with explosives or a deadly weapon; or causes physical injury to a non-participant in the crime; or uses or threatens the immediate use of a deadly weapon; or displays what appears to be a pistol or other type of gun.

The charge gets bumped up to Burglary in the First Degree when the building is a dwelling and, while entering or inside the building or in fleeing from the building, the defendant or another participant in the crime is: armed with explosives or a deadly weapon; or causes physical injury to a non-participant in the crime; or uses or threatens the immediate use of a deadly weapon; or displays what appears to be a pistol or other type of gun.

Burglary in the First Degree (Penal Law § 140.30) is a class B violent felony; Burglary in the Second Degree (Penal Law § 140.25) is a class C violent felony; and Burglary in the Third Degree (Penal Law § 140.20) is a class D non-violent felony.


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Criminal Mischief Statute under New York Penal Law

New York Penal Law §§ 145.00 – 145.12 defines the crime of Criminal Mischief in the First, Second, Third and Fourth Degrees. A person commits Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree when he or she intentionally, and with no right to do so, damages the property of another person, or participates in the destruction of an abandoned building, or recklessly damages another person's property valued at over $250 or prevents a person from communicating a request for emergency service.

Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree will be charged if a defendant: intentionally damages another person's property valued at over $250; or has been convicted three or more times within the previous 10 years of Criminal Mischief in any degree, and damages someone's motor vehicle by breaking in when locked and with the intent of stealing property.

The charge gets bumped up to Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree if a defendant damages another person's property valued at more than $1,500. Criminal Mischief in the First Degree will be charged if the defendant damages someone's property with an explosive.

Criminal Mischief in the First Degree (Penal Law § 145.12) is a class B non-violent felony; Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree (Penal Law §145.10) is a class D non-violent felony; Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree (Penal Law § 145.05) is a class E non-violent felony; and Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree (Penal Law §145.00) is a class A misdemeanor. Read more about criminal mischief in New York City.


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Criminal Tampering Statute under New York Penal Law

Criminal Tampering is defined in New York Penal Law §§ 145.14 – 145.20 as tampering with the property of another person with the intent to cause substantial inconvenience to that person or to a third person. This is the definition of Criminal Tampering in the Third Degree (Penal Law § 145.14) which is a class B misdemeanor.

Under Criminal Tampering in the Second Degree (Penal Law § 145.15), the defendant tampers or makes connection with property of a gas, electric, sewer, steam or water-works company, a telephone or telegraph company, common carrier, nuclear-powered electric generating facility, or public utility operated by a municipality or district. This is a class A misdemeanor.

A person will be charged with Criminal Tampering in the First Degree (Penal Law §145.20) if, with intent to cause substantial interruption or impairment of a service rendered to the public, he or she damages or tampers with property of a gas, electric, sewer, steam or water-works company, a telephone or telegraph company, common carrier, nuclear-powered electric generating facility, or public utility operated by a municipality or district. This is a class D non-violent felony.


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Reckless Endangerment of Property Statute under New York Penal Law

Reckless Endangerment of Property occurs when a person recklessly or thoughtlessly commits an act that creates a substantial risk of damage to another person's property in an amount exceeding $250, according to New York Penal Law § 145.25. A conviction for this offense is a class B misdemeanor.


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Punishments for Property Crimes in New York

New York's Penal Law gives general guidelines in Articles 70 and 80 for the maximum penalties a convicted offender can be sentenced to for committing misdemeanors and felonies. However, punishments can change depending on the number of prior convictions the offender has, whether the offender is considered a juvenile, youthful offender or violent or persistent offender, and how severe the offense is.

  • Class A felonies can result in life imprisonment, and/or fines up to $5,000;
  • Class B felonies can incur imprisonment up to 25 years;
  • Class C felony convictions can lead to a maximum of 15 years imprisonment;
  • Class D felonies can result in up to seven years imprisonment;
  • Class E felonies can incur up to four years imprisonment;
  • Class A misdemeanors can result in a jail sentence of up to one year, and/or fines up to $1,000; and
  • Class B misdemeanor can result in a jail sentence of up to three months and/or fines not exceeding $500.

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Property Crime Defenses

Your criminal defense attorney will be able to hear the facts of your case, and determine if there are any potential defenses to your alleged criminal act. A few possible defenses to property crimes in New York are:

  • Justification — an act that would otherwise be considered a criminal offense is not criminal if the conduct was required or authorized by law, performed during the course of a public servant's duties, or is a necessary emergency measure to prevent public or private injury that is highly likely to occur in the immediate future.
  • Duress — it is an affirmative defense for a person who engaged in otherwise criminal conduct to have committed the act because they were intimidated by another person who threatened immediate violence against them or a third party, and a reasonable person in the same situation would have done the same.
  • Renunciation — It is an affirmative defense to an offense that the alleged offender withdrew from participation in the offense prior to the commission of the act, and made substantial effort to prevent the act from occurring.
  • Lack of Larcenous or Unlawful Purpose — It is an affirmative defense to the charge of Criminal Tampering the Second Degree that the defendant did not engage in the conduct charged for a larcenous or otherwise unlawful or wrongful purpose.

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Resources for Property Violations in New York

City of New York Police Department – New York's Finest serves and protects the citizens of all by seeking to regulate criminal activity in all five boroughs of New York City, and provides information about the most wanted criminals, missing persons, records and other affairs around the community.

New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services – The DCJS strives to make New York a safer place by enhancing public safety and improving criminal justice. This state governmental agency maintains crime reporting records, provides information to alternative sentencing, and reviews New York's statutes pertaining to criminal sentencing.


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Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner | Queens Property Crime Lawyer

If you are facing criminal charges for an alleged property offense in any of the five boroughs of New York City or in Nassau or Suffolk Counties, call the Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner right away. Queens criminal defense attorney Rochelle S. Berliner is is dedicated to helping clients find any possible defenses or mitigating circumstances to have their charges reduced or even dismissed.

Call 718-261-5600 or submit an online form to take advantage of a free consultation that will let our firm review your case.

Free Consultation

Submit your information using this form to schedule a free consultation with attorney Rochelle Berliner.

Name* Phone* Email* Subject* Message*

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