Property Crimes Offense
Those accused of a Property crimes offense are vigorously prosecuted in both Missouri and Kansas . Whether it is stealing, tampering, trespassing, burglary, robbery, or arson—property crimes are serious. Which is why you should never approach a property case without first consulting with The Watt Law Firm. Greg Watt has established one of the premiere property crime defense practices in the Kansas City metro area. No one understands this area of law better. As a property crime defense specialist, Greg Watt is routinely referred cases by some of the largest law firms in Kansas City to ensure their clients have the very best. In short, every property crime is different; every property crime is serious; and everyone who wants the best calls The Watt Law Firm, first.
Theft or stealing means taking property or services from someone with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of possession. The penalty for theft varies from a misdemeanor to a severity level 9 nonperson felony in Kansas and the penalty for stealing varies from a misdemeanor to a class B felony in Missouri. The severity of the charge varies based on the value of the stolen property, prior offenses, and, in some cases, the type of property stolen. For example, the penalty is increased for stealing a gun, or certain types of scrap metal, (Kansas), or methamphetamine ingredients (Missouri).
The offense of tampering under Missouri law includes tampering with property or interfering with public utilities. Tampering is most commonly used to charge what most people refer to as grand theft auto. This is because the elements of tampering are much easier for the State to prove than the elements of stealing. To convict a person of tampering, the State need only prove the individual charged was driving or riding in a car without the consent of the owner. The State does not have to prove any intent to keep or sell the car. Tampering therefore also covers what we usually think of as “joyriding.” Tampering in the first degree – driving the car – is a class D felony, and tampering in the second degree – riding in the car – is a class A misdemeanor.
Trespassing, which includes knowingly entering or remaining in or on someone else’s house or property unlawfully, is a misdemeanor in both Kansas and Missouri.
Burglary, known as burglary in the second degree in Missouri, is generally defined as unlawfully entering or remaining in a building with the intent to commit a crime. Aggravated burglary, or burglary in the first degree in Missouri, is usually charged if a burglary is committed while someone is home or when the burglary is committed by a person in possession of a dangerous/deadly instrument. In Missouri, burglary in the first degree is a class B felony and burglary in the second degree is a class D felony. In Kansas, burglary is a nonperson felony, with a severity level from nine to five. Aggravated burglary, however, is a level five person felony.
Missouri defines robbery second degree as forcibly taking property from another person. Aggravated robbery, or robbery in the first degree, is usually charged if a weapon is involved or if someone is injured.
In Missouri, if a weapon is used in the commission of the robbery there will also be an armed criminal action charge. Anyone who commits any felony, in Missouri by, with, or through the use, assistance, or aid of a dangerous or deadly weapon is also guilty of the crime of armed criminal action and, upon conviction, will be punished by imprisonment by the division of corrections for a term of not less than three years. In other words, the minimum is three years, with no maximum. Armed criminal action is referred to in Missouri as an unclassified felony.
In Kansas, robbery is a severity level five person felony, and aggravated robbery is a severity level three person felony. In Missouri, robbery in the first degree is a class A felony and robbery in the second degree is a class B felony.
Arson means either burning or blowing up a building. The penalty for arson in Missouri varies from a misdemeanor to a class A felony, depending upon whether the fire or explosion was intentional, whether anyone was placed in danger or killed, or whether the fire or explosion was caused by the process of making methamphetamine. In Kansas, the penalties for arson range from a severity level seven nonperson felony to a severity level three person felony. Whether arson is a person or nonperson felony in Kansas depends upon whether another person was present or injured. In Kansas, burning someone else’s house is a person felony, but burning someone’s business is a nonperson felony. Contact The Watt Law Firm here
In Missouri, the penalties for the different levels of felonies are as follows:
- For a class A felony, ten years to thirty years or life imprisonment;
- For a class B felony, five years to fifteen years;
- For a class C felony, up to seven years;
- For a class D felony, up to four years;