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theft & property crimes Archives

What is the difference between arson and aggravated arson?

As a California resident, you know the fire danger our state faces almost year round. Everyone needs to be constantly on guard against accidentally starting a fire by means of a cigarette, a barbecue grill, a campfire and other innocuous, but sometimes careless, activities.

Can you really be prosecuted for graffiti?

If you are a young California resident thinking about putting some of your “art work” on someone else’s property, you may wish to think again. Section 594 of the California Penal Code defines graffiti as any type of unauthorized design, figure, mark, words or inscription that you paint, draw, etch, write or scratch on someone else’s real or personal property without his or her permission. This includes a building, a vehicle, a sign, or any other kind of property.

Refuting larceny charges

FindLaw summarizes theft laws in California by first defining theft - a crime against property - and then emphasizing burden of proof. Prosecutors, they say, "must establish the defendant's intent to permanently take or withhold the property owner's possession or right to the property." At Leupp & Woodall, we understand the ins and outs of defending against larceny charges and often assist clients who face them. 

How much trouble can tagging get you into?

Many people don't consider vandalism like graffiti or tagging to be a "big crime"; at least not compared to things like drunk driving, drug dealing, or assault. However, you should be aware of the fact that California actually takes vandalism quite seriously, and you could be in for some trouble if you're ever accused of defacing property.