Property crime is a category of crime that includes a wide variety of offenses.
In 2020, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement recorded 382,000 incidents of property crime in the state.
Definition and examples of property crime
Property crime involves theft or damage of the victim’s property. Property crime does not involve the use of force or threats against the victim.
Examples of property crime include burglary, larceny (theft), vandalism, graffiti and arson.
Misdemeanor property crime
According to Florida law, property crime that causes less than $200 in damage is a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. If the damage is greater than $200 but less than $1000, it is a first-degree misdemeanor and may result in up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $1000.
Felony property crime
Some types of property crime may result in a third-degree felony charge. Examples include:
- Cases in which the offender has previous property crime convictions
- Vandalism of religious buildings
- Vandalism of historic property or memorials
- Crimes resulting in $1000 or more in damages
- Interruption of public utilities or transportation that costs $1000 or more to repair
- Interference with public telephone lines
A third-degree felony charge can lead to a prison term of up to 5 years and a fine of up to $5000.
Florida law provides additional penalties for graffiti offenses. In addition to the above penalties, a person convicted of a graffiti offense must complete at least 40 hours of community service and pay a minimum fine of $250 for a first offense, $500 for a second offense and $1000 for a third offense.
Although property crime does not involve violence or threats toward the victim, it can still result in significant fines and possible jail time.