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Property Crimes

Many times, individuals who have been arrested and charged with property crimes in Dallas do not realize they are committing a serious criminal offense. Even crimes such as graffiti, vandalism or criminal mischief can result in jail or prison sentences in addition to steep fines.

If you have been charged with a criminal property offense, however, you do not necessarily have to face a criminal conviction. The state prosecutor has the very high burden of proof to prove beyond a reasonable doubt you committed every element to the property crime. If your attorney is able to cast even the slightest doubt in the mind of the judge or jury, your criminal charges will be reduced or even dismissed.

Therefore, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Dallas who will make every effort to help you achieve the most desirable outcome in your particular situation.

Dallas Property Crimes Lawyer

If you have been accused of committing a property offense in Dallas, or any of the surrounding areas in Texas, including Garland, Irving, Grand Prairie, Denton, Plano, McKinney, Fort Worth,Decatur, Terrell, Weatherford, Sherman, Rockwall, Burleson, Waxahachie, Arlington, Mesquite, Carrolton, Richardson, Lewisville or Frisco, contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy.

Attorney Richard McConathy is knowledgeable in all areas of Texas’ property laws and will make every effort to fight the allegations against you. Call Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy for a free consultation at (972) 233-5700 about your property crime charges.


Dallas Property Crimes Information Center


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Dallas Property Crimes and Laws

Some of the most commonly charged property offenses in Texas are as follows:

An individual can be charged with burglary under Tex. Penal Code § 30.02 if they enter without the owner’s consent:

  • A habitation or a building with the intent to commit a felony, theft or assault;
  • A building or habitation and remain there with the intent to commit a felony, theft or assault; or
  • A building or habitation and commit or attempt to commit a felony, theft or assault.

This offense is generally punishable as a state jail felony, felony of the second degree or a felony of the first degree.

According to Tex. Penal Code § 30.04, and individual can be charged with burglary of a vehicle if they break into or enter a vehicle without the consent of the owner and with the intent to commit a felony or theft. This offense is generally punishable as a state jail felony or a Class A misdemeanor.

Under Tex. Penal Code § 30.05, an individual can be charged with criminal trespass if they enter or remain on another person’s property without their consent and the alleged offender had notice the entry was forbidden or they received notice to leave the premises, but did not. Criminal trespass can occur on:

  • Residential land,
  • Agricultural land,
  • A recreational vehicle park,
  • A building,
  • An aircraft, or
  • Any other vehicle.

An individual can be charged with arson under Tex. Penal Code § 28.02 if they intentionally or recklessly destroy property through the use of fire or explosion. This offense can result in a conviction for a state jail felony, felony of the first degree, felony of the second degree, or a felony of the first degree, depending if death or injury resulted to any person as a result of the arson, and depending on where the arson occurred.

According to Tex. Penal Code § 28.03, an individual can be charged with criminal mischief if they intentionally or knowingly commit any of the following without the owner’s consent:

  • Damage or destroy property of someone else;
  • Tampers with another person’s property and causes loss or substantial inconvenience; and/or
  • Marks, draws, paints, writes or makes inscriptions or slogans on the property of another person.

This offense is also commonly known as vandalism. A conviction for this offense can result in a Class C, B or A misdemeanor, a state jail felony, or a felony of the third, second or first degree, depending on the amount of loss resulting from the damage.

Under section 28.08 of the Texas Penal Code, an individual can be charged with graffiti if they intentionally or knowingly draw on, inscribe on, paint, write on, spray paint, or mark on property of another person without their permission by using:

  • Paint,
  • A permanent marker, and/or
  • An etching or engraving tool.

This offense can result in a Class A or B misdemeanor, state jail felony, or felony of the third, second, or first degree conviction, depending on the amount of property damage and where the graffiti was committed.

According to Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 28.04, an individual can be charged with reckless damage or destruction if they recklessly damage or destroy the property of another person without their permission. This offense is generally punishable as a Class C misdemeanor.


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Property Crime Mental States in Dallas

Most property crimes in Dallas require the alleged offender to have some element of intent or knowledge they were committing the offense. In order to convict the alleged property offender of their crime, the state prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the alleged offender had the intent to commit the crime, knowledge they were committing the offense, or acted in recklessly when committing the crime. These elements are subjective and can be very difficult for the prosecutor to prove, as they are different for every person and not established by hard evidence.

As defined in section 6.03 of the Texas Penal Code, the most common property crime mental states are:

  • Intentionally – An individual acts intentionally if they commit a crime and they have the conscious objective or desire to engage in the conduct or cause the result of the conduct.
  • Knowingly – An individual acts knowingly, or with knowledge, if they commit a crime and are aware their conduct is reasonably certain to cause the intended resulted of the conduct.
  • Recklessly – An individual acts recklessly when they commit a crime if they are aware of their conduct or the likely result of the conduct, but they consciously disregard the possibility the result will occur.

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Penalties for Property Offenses in Dallas

The penalties for property crimes in Texas are listed in Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code. However, these basic statutory penalties can increase, depending on where the offense occurred, the value of the damage, whether the alleged offender has any previous criminal history, and whether a weapon was used during the commission of the offense.

  • A conviction for a Class C misdemeanor property crime can result in a fine up to $500.
  • A conviction for a Class B misdemeanor property crime can result in a jail sentence up to 180 days and/or a fine up to $2,000.
  • A conviction for a Class A misdemeanor property crime can result in a jail sentence up to one year and/or a fine up to $4,000.
  • A conviction for a state jail felony property crime can result in a jail sentence ranging from 180 days to two years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • A conviction for a felony of the third degree property crime can result in a prison sentence ranging from two to ten years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • A conviction for a felony of the second degree property crime can result in a prison sentence ranging from two to 20 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • A conviction for a felony of the first degree property crime can result in a prison sentence ranging from five to 99 years or life imprisonment and/or a fine up to $10,000.

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Defenses to Property Crimes in Dallas

Occasionally, defenses may be available to individuals that have been charged with property crimes in Dallas. It is important to fist consult with your experienced criminal defense attorney to help you determine whether any defense is applicable in your particular situation.

  • Duress – An alleged offender may be able to use this defense if they were threatened by another person they would be harmed or a third party would be harmed if they did not commit the offense.
  • Justification – An alleged offender may be able to use this defense if they committed an act that would otherwise by a criminal offense in an emergency situation in order to prevent public or private harm.
  • Reasonable Belief – An alleged offender may be able to use this defense if they reasonably believed they had the owner’s permission to use the owner’s property or enter the property.
  • Renunciation – An alleged offender may be able to use this defense if they withdrew from participating in the act before the act was committed and made substantial efforts to prevent the act from occurring.

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Dallas Property Crime Resources

Texas Penal Code – Offenses Against Property – Chapter 28 of Title 7 of the Texas Penal Code defines arson, criminal mischief and other property damage or destruction offenses throughout Texas and the penalties for committing such offenses.  

Texas Penal Code – Burglary and Criminal Trespass – Chapter 30 of Title 7 of the Texas Penal Code defines burglary and criminal trespass offenses throughout Texas and the penalties for committing such crimes.

Office of Justice Programs – Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) – This link is to The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), as provided by the BJS. The survey measures property crimes, such as burglary and burglary of a vehicle, throughout the nation.


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Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy | Fort Worth Property Crime Attorney

Contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today for a consultation about your alleged property crime throughout Dallas County in Texas. Richard McConathy is an experienced Dallas criminal defense lawyer who will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious penalties and repercussions to your alleged offense.

Contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy at (972) 233-5700 for a consultation about your property crime allegations throughout Dallas County in Texas and the surrounding counties of Wise County, Kaufman County, Parker County, Grayson County, Rockwall County, Johnson County, Ellis County, Denton County, Collin County and Tarrant County.


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