Property Crimes

In the state of Montana, property crime includes the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The object of the theft-type offenses is the taking of money or property, but there is no force or threat of force against the victims.

The property crime category includes arson because the offense involves the destruction of property; however, arson victims may be subjected to force.

Attorney for Property Crimes in Helena, Montana

If you were arrested for a property crime in the state of Montana, you need to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately to discuss your case. Greg Beebe is an aggressive criminal defense attorney who understands the seriousness of the allegation. Contacting Beebe Law Firm should be the first thing you do after being accused of such a crime.

Greg Beebe represents residents in Helena in Lewis and Clark County, Boulder in Jefferson County, Missoula in Missoula County, Bozeman Gallatin County, and other surrounding areas in Montana.

His office is conveniently located at 1085 Helena Avenue in Helena, Montana, between Idaho Avenue and North Dakota Avenue. Give him a call today at 1 (406) 442-3625.


Information Center for Property Crimes in Helena, Montana

  •  Robbery
  •  Criminal Mischief
  •  Arson
  •  Criminal Trespass
  •  Burglary
  •  Motor Vehicle Theft (Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle)

Robbery

A person commits the offense of robbery if in the course of committing a theft, the person:

  •  inflicts bodily injury upon another;
  •  threatens to inflict bodily harm upon any person or purposely or knowingly puts any person in fear of immediate bodily harm; or
  •  commits or threatens immediately to commit any felony other than theft.

A person convicted of the offense of robbery shall be imprisoned for a maximum of 2 years and no more than 40 years and may be fined a maximum of $50,000.


Criminal Mischief

A person commits the offense of criminal mischief if the person knowingly or purposely:

  •  injures, damages, or destroys any property of another or public property without consent;
  •  without consent tampers with property of another or public property so as to endanger or interfere with persons or property or its use;
  •  damages or destroys property with the purpose to defraud an insurer; or
  •  fails to close a gate previously unopened that the individual has opened, leading in or out of any enclosed premises. This does not apply to gates located in cities or towns.

A person convicted of the offense of criminal mischief shall be fined a maximum of $1,500, be imprisoned for a maximum of 6 months, or both.

If the offender commits the offense of criminal mischief and causes pecuniary loss in excess of $1,500, injures or kills a commonly domesticated hoofed animal, or causes a substantial interruption or impairment of public communication, transportation, supply of water, gas, or power, or other public services, the offender shall be fined a maximum amount of $50,000, be imprisoned for a maximum of 10 years, or both.


Arson

A person commits the offense of arson when using fire or explosives, the person knowingly or purposely:

  •  damages or destroys a structure, vehicle, personal property (other than a vehicle) that exceeds $1,500 in value, crop, pasture, forest, or other real property that is the property of another without consent;
  •  damages or destroys a structure, vehicle, crop, pasture, forest, or other property that the person owns or has a possessory interest in, with the purpose of obtaining a pecuniary or another gain through fraud or deception; or
  •  places another person in danger of death or bodily injury, including a firefighter responding to or at the scene of a fire or explosion.

A person convicted of the offense of arson shall be imprisoned for a maximum of 20 years, be fined a maximum of $50,000, or both.


Criminal Trespass

A person commits the offense of criminal trespass to property if the person knowingly:

  •  enters or remains unlawfully in an occupied structure; or
  •  enters or remains unlawfully in or upon the premises of another.

A person convicted of the offense of criminal trespass to property shall be fined a maximum of $500, imprisoned in the county jail for a maximum of 6 months, or both.


Burglary

A person commits the offense of burglary if the person knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in an occupied structure and:

  •  the person has the purpose to commit an offense in the occupied structure
  •  the person knowingly or purposely commits any other crime within that structure.

A person commits the offense of aggravated burglary if the person knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in an occupied structure and:

  •  the person has the purpose to commit an offense in the occupied structure; or
  •  the person knowingly or purposely commits any other offense within that structure; and
  •  in effecting entry or in the course of committing the offense or in immediate flight after effecting entry or committing the offense:
    •  the person or another participant in the offense is armed with explosives or a weapon; or
    •  the person purposely, knowingly, or negligently inflicts or attempts to inflict bodily injury upon anyone.

A person convicted of the offense of burglary shall be imprisoned for a maximum of 20 years, be fined a maximum of $50,000, or both.

A person convicted of the offense of aggravated burglary shall be imprisoned for a maximum of 40 years, be fined a maximum of $50,000, or both.


Motor Vehicle Theft (Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle)

Montana criminalizes motor vehicle theft under its general theft law. Motor Vehicle Theft occurs when a defendant purposely exerts unauthorized control over someone else’s motor vehicle with the intent of not returning the vehicle.

“Exerting unauthorized control” is the action of taking something without permission. This element requires that the defendant knowingly took a vehicle without the vehicle owner’s permission to do so.

The penalties depend on the value of the property taken and the number of prior convictions including:

  • A defendant who stole a motor vehicle not exceeding $1,500 in value will be fined a maximum of $1,500, a maximum of six months in jail, or both;
  • A second offense incurs a mandatory $1,500 fine, a maximum of six months in jail, or both;
  • A third or subsequent conviction incurs a $1,500 fine and a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of six months in jail; and
  • For vehicles worth more than $1,500, the defendant may be fined a maximum of $50,000, imprisoned for a maximum of ten years, or both.

Additional Resources

Montana Crime Statistics – Visit the neighborhood scout website to read about the crime statistics in Montana.

Montana Board of Crime Control – Visit the official site of Montana's government to learn more about Montana's Board of Crime Control and what they are doing to create safer communities throughout the state of Montana.


Finding a Property Crimes Attorney in Helena, MT

If you were arrested for a property crime in Montana, you need to confidentially discuss your case with an aggressive Montana criminal defense attorney who understands property crimes. Greg Beebe is prepared to assist you, no matter what criminal charges you face. His familiarity with the courts and the resources available for people accused of property crimes may help you avoid the more severe criminal penalties.

Greg Beebe will fight and defend anyone in the State of Montana and residents in Lewis and Clark County, Missoula County, Gallatin County or other Montana communities. His office is conveniently located at 1085 Helena Avenue in Helena, Montana, between Idaho Avenue and North Dakota Avenue.

Give him a call today at 1 (406) 442-3625.


This article was last updated on  August 2, 2016.

Location:

Beebe Law Firm - Criminal Defense & DUI
1085 Helena Ave. Helena, MT 59601