Chapter 637 of the New Hampshire Criminal Code outlines the different types of theft offenses that have been made illegal in the state and specify the charges that an individual may face if accused.
Being accused can result in a misdemeanor or felony charge, and depends on the type of theft, property taken, and the extent of prior planning. Facing this charge alone is nearly impossible. You need an experienced property crimes lawyer on your side. The term "theft" encompasses a number of behaviors deemed illegal by the state, such as:
- Unauthorized taking or transfer: This includes taking control of or physically seizing any property belonging to another.
- Willful concealment: Hiding or concealing items that belong to someone else.
- Theft by deception: Using dishonest means to take property or items belonging to another.
- Theft by extortion: Blackmailing or threatening harm in order to gain control over someone else's property.
- Theft of lost property: Taking property you know is lost or wasn't meant to be given to you with no attempt to find the rightful owner.
- Possession of property without serial numbers: This includes having in your possession any item with a filed off serial number.
- Theft of services: Taking advantage of any services, including professional services, equipment, vehicles, public utilities, and labor.
- Unauthorized use of propelled vehicles or rental properties: Includes having possession of rental vehicles or property and using them in a manner that is very different from the stated purpose.
- Use or possession of theft detection shielding devices or theft detection device removers. This includes removing anti-theft detection devices on retail items.
- Theft by misapplication of property: This includes using property or taking services while refusing to pay for them.
- Fraudulent retail transactions: Producing false receipts
- Running an organized crime enterprise.
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If you knowingly enter a property or area that you do not have the rights or privilege to do so, you are trespassing. Areas where popular hunting game congregate may be popular with hunters who ignore "no trespassing" signs. Other examples include entering abandoned buildings and private property, or if remaining on private property after being told to leave. A first offense will be deemed a misdemeanor under the following circumstances:
- The trespassing takes place in an "occupied structure"
- Remaining in any secured premises
- Remaining in any place in direct defiance of an order to leave, or failure to obey an order from an authorized person to not enter the property.
- Knowingly entering or remaining in a place in violation of a court order.
- Any other form of criminal trespass is considered a violation. Felony charges may apply if damage is caused during the incident that amounts to $1,500 or more.
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Generally considered a Class B or Class A felony (depending on the nature of the crime), a burglary charge can easily come from criminal trespass if you are found on private and secured property without permission and your intent is to commit any crime. You do not have to force your way into a structure in order to meet the requirements for burglary. You simply have to be somewhere without permission with the intent to commit any crime.
In addition, a misdemeanor can be charged if burglary tools such as box cutters, lockpicking tools or tools that could be used to force entry are found on someone's person. If you are facing burglary charges, you need someone who can represent you in court successfully. Contact us today.
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Destruction of another's property is considered vandalism, and can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the severity of the destruction. Hefty fines and even jail time could await you if you are convicted. Acts of vandalism commonly include:
- Slashing tires
- Breaking tombstones or otherwise desecrating a graveyard
- Destruction of religious buildings
- Keying cars
- Breaking windows
- Graffiti or spray painting, unless in designated area (such as for a mural)
Destruction and tampering with private property often causes irreparable damage for the owner, and can be traumatic and expensive. Depending on the severity of the act, felony charges may be pursued. While damaging property is considered criminal mischief, those facing charges could also be charged with vandalism as well as either a Class B felony, or Class A misdemeanor. The following circumstances may lead to a felony conviction:
- If the losses exceed an amount of $1000
- Historical, cultural or public property is damaged
- Public property such as transportation is vandalized
If you are facing vandalism charges, you need an attorney who will listen, and who can help you. Contact us today for a case evaluation to begin to work towards the justice you deserve.
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