The Current Page is: Crimes Against Property - Crime Classifications
Exercise Extreme Caution when using many of our free forms - or any legal material. While they may provide general ideas on format & content, validity requirements can and do vary greatly from state to state. Many MUST be Properly Modified for your own location and circumstances. (Hint: If in doubt it's usually safer to include unneeded clauses than to leave out necessary ones. . . . but it's even safer to consult a competent source or use current, state specific ones like ours mentioned below.) Also, we urge people (and lawyers too) to read our Relying On Legal Info FAQ.
Crime against property is any criminal act that destroys another's property, or that deprives an owner of property against the owner's will. The criminal law generally considers these crimes less serious than violent crimes, or crimes against persons, but they can still constitute very serious felony charges.
Arson and vandalism are examples of crimes that destroy another's property. Examples of crimes that unwillingly deprive an owner of property are far more abundant, including larceny, embezzlement, receiving stolen goods, extortion (blackmail), robbery (a combination of violent crime and crime against property), burglary, and industrial espionage, to name just a few. There are also a wide range of crimes that fall under the domain of intellectual property law, and the occurrence of these is rising sharply as information becomes a stronger and stronger motive force in the economies of the developed and developing world.
At early British common law, there was only one kind of crime against property, larceny. There was also only one punishment for larceny in those times: death. As time went on and judges became more and more reluctant to execute people for pick-pocketing and petty theft, many crimes that bore striking resemblance to larceny were classified as something else so that the death penalty could be avoided. In the United States today, where life and liberty are categorically valued above property, no crime against property is considered serious enough to warrent the death penalty.
* * * * * * * * * * No one connected with the 'Lectric Law Library, including Sponsors, Advertisers, & Content Providers,
necessarily Endorses, Warrants or Approves of any of its material. Also, Library content is NOT meant
to provide Specific Legal Advice, or to Solicit or Establish Any Kind of Professional-Client Relationship.