Theft and Property Crimes
NOTE: This page discusses Connecticut law, but we also have attorneys that practice criminal law in New York! Please contact the office for more information on New York Criminal Law
In the State of Connecticut, the rate at which property crimes are committed falls below the national average (21.93 v. 29.4 per 1,000 residents). The criminal defense attorneys at Maya Murphy are well-versed and knowledgeable in handling matters involving theft and property crimes, including but not limited to burglary, criminal trespass, and larceny. Below you will find information on matters we frequently handle, though this is certainly a non-exhaustive overview.
It is imperative to obtain counsel who has the experience and know-how to provide an effective legal defense against the charges faced. The criminal defense attorneys at Maya Murphy will protect your rights and seek a reduction or dismissal of charges against you. Should you find yourself facing a charge involving theft or property crime, or any other criminal offense, please do not hesitate to call our office at 203-221-3100 today to schedule a consultation.
Arson involves starting a fire or causing an explosion with the intent to cause damage to or destroy a building. An individual may face less harsh penalties upon conviction where the damage or destruction results from recklessness. However, if the State can establish, for example, substantial risk of bodily injury, an attempt to conceal other criminal activity, or habitation and occupation of the building by other people, an individual will face more serious charges and penalties.
A burglary takes place when an individual enters a building and remains there unlawfully, intending to commit a crime inside. Some factors that influence the degree charged include: whether the burglar is armed with explosives, a deadly weapon, or a dangerous instrument; the time of day; and whether the building was a dwelling and its occupant is home at the time of the burglary. However, if the building was abandoned at the time of the alleged burglary, the accused burglar may assert this as a defense at trial.
A person may be found guilty of criminal trespass if, knowing they lack license or privilege to do so, he or she enters or remains in a building or piece of property. The degree sought by prosecutors will be influenced by, for example: whether the property had fencing or warning signs prohibiting trespassing; the existence of a restraining or protective order; and the defendant’s conduct and behavior while on the property. However, a defendant may claim various defenses at trial. These include: 1) the building was abandoned; 2) the premises were open to the public at the time of entry or remaining, and the defendant otherwise acted lawfully; and 3) a reasonable belief that the owner would have granted the required permission anyway.
Larceny constitutes the wrongful taking, obtaining, or withholding of someone else’s property with the intent to deprive the owner either by keeping it for oneself or giving it to a third party. The Connecticut legislature has recognized many methods by which a larceny can occur, including embezzlement, obtaining property by false pretenses or false promise, extortion, and receiving stolen property. The nature and value of the property or manner in which it is wrongfully obtained will effect a prosecutor’s decision on degree of larceny to charge.
Shoplifting is one way by which an individual may commit a larceny. It involves intentionally taking items being sold at a store for personal use without paying for them. The mere act of intentionally concealing such goods, in and of itself, will be deemed “prima facie” evidence that the individual intended personal use without payment. Thus, for example, our courts have found that hiding DVDs in a suitcase, which is then placed into a shopping cart and pushed toward an exit, constituted shoplifting in violation of State law.
If you have been charged with criminal trespassing or another theft or property crime, contact Maya Murphy for assistance with your case. Our experience and dedication can guide you through any New York or Connecticut or criminal defense matter.