Everyone makes mistakes. Financial difficulties, health setbacks, and life circumstances often make people desperate. Difficult situations can lead them to make spur of the moment decisions they later regret. In criminal cases, what seemed like a short-term solution often results in long-term consequences. Under South Carolina law, burglary, robbery, and theft are distinct crimes that involve taking property from an individual or business without permission.
Burglary involves entering a private home or closed public building uninvited with the intention of committing a theft or assault. In South Carolina, breaking into a vehicle or coin-operated machine with the intent to steal also constitutes burglary.
It does not matter if the theft never actually took place. The law merely requires that the individual intended to commit the theft or assault. Because proving intent is often difficult for the prosecution to accomplish, I frequently assist clients in reducing charges, negotiating plea bargains, or achieving a complete dismissal of the case.
Robbery: Distinguished from Burglary
Robbery is similar to burglary, except robbery involves using or threatening force to steal. This covers a variety of criminal activities, including bank robbery, mugging, and carjacking. Additionally, a related charge known as “aggravated burglary” is a burglary committed with a deadly weapon or one that causes the victim serious physical harm. Whereas simple burglary is prosecuted as a second degree felony, aggravated burglary is punishable as a first degree felony.
The definition of theft is relatively straightforward. It is the unlawful taking of another person’s property without his consent with the intent to deprive him of it. In other words, if you take things that do not belong to you, you can be charged with theft. Under the South Carolina Penal Code, several theft-related crimes are prosecuted under a single code section. Theft crimes include receiving stolen property, embezzlement, writing bad checks, shoplifting, and others. Depending on the severity of the crime and the amount of money or goods stolen, the penalties range from a Class C misdemeanor to a first degree felony.
Defense You Can Count On
From our very first meeting, I will thoroughly review the details of your case, including any suspicion of police misconduct. Most of the time, first-time offenders can avoid jail time by participating in court-approved community programs. I will help you weigh the pros and cons of accepting a plea bargain versus taking your case to trial.