Personal property crimes vary based on different factors and circumstances. Anyone in Texas who is accused of theft or any crime that occurs on someone else’s property has to understand the definition of the crime and its likely punishment.
Theft and larceny
Theft is the stealing of contents from a property without the owner’s permission. Larceny is a specific term used for a similar type of crime. Theft can occur with tangible items, such as artwork or jewelry, or intangible items, such as intellectual property theft.
Theft and robbery are often used interchangeably but incorrectly. Robbery is theft that occurs through the use of force or violence. It is an aggravated form of theft that involves fear, threats and intimidation. Forcing someone to hand over his or her personal property by force counts as robbery.
Burglary differs from robbery because the crime often occurs in secrecy. A burglary allows the illegal entry of a home or building with the intention to commit a crime. Theft does not have to occur for it to count as burglary.
Trespassing differs from burglary because it mostly involves unlawful entry without an intent to commit a crime. Trespassing often occurs on land while burglary occurs in buildings.
Lawyers who provide criminal defense advise their clients to understand the basic definitions of crimes. Knowing the type of personal property crime allows a suspect to understand the severity of the crime and its punishment.
Understanding the different types of crimes
Millions of dollars worth of property crimes and personal thefts are reported every year in the U.S. Theft occurs more often than robbery and burglary. Every crime is serious, but one that includes force or threats carries a higher fine and a longer prison sentence.