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Property Crimes

Florida Panhandle property crimes, such as vandalism, graffiti and breaking and entering, are often committed by juveniles or young adults who are not aware they are committing a serious criminal offense. Unfortunately, a conviction for any property crime can result in serious criminal penalties, including a criminal record, fines, jail or prison time, an inability to pursue certain professional or education opportunities, and/or payment of restitution.

It is important to know that if you have been charged with a criminal property offense throughout Destin and South Walton that you do not have to face a conviction for the offense. The state prosecutor is required to prove you committed every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. If there is any doubt in the mind of the judge or jury, the charges against you may be reduced or even dismissed. Therefore, it is essential to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer throughout South Walton to help you identify your best legal strategy.

DeFuniak Springs Property Crimes Lawyer

Contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC for a consultation about your alleged property crime offense throughout the Florida Panhandle, including the areas of Crestview, South Walton, Fort Walton Beach, Milton, Navarre, DeFuniak Springs, Pensacola and Panama City.

The attorneys of Adkinson Law Firm, LLC are experienced defending alleged property crimes in Florida and will make every effort to help you achieve the most desirable outcome for your particular situation. Contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation today at if you have been charged with a property crime throughout Destin and South Walton.


Destin Property Crimes Information Center


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South Walton Property Crimes

Some of the most common property crimes throughout the Florida Panhandle are:

Arson — As defined in Fla. Stat. § 806.01, an individual can be charged with this offense if they intentionally damage a building through the use of fire or explosion. This offense is generally charged with second-degree arson but can result in first-degree arson if another person was in the building at the time of the offense and the individual had reason to know the person was in the building. This offense is punishable as a felony of the second degree or a felony of the first degree, depending on the degree of arson offense.

Criminal Mischief — As defined in Fla. Stat. § 806.13, an individual can be charged with this offense if they maliciously and willfully injure or damage another person’s real or personal property. Vandalism and graffiti are both considered criminal mischief offenses, and are punishable as misdemeanors of the second or first degree or felonies of the third degree, depending on the amount of damage. An individual can be charged with committing vandalism if they willfully and maliciously destroying public or private property. This offense is punishable as a misdemeanor of the second degree, misdemeanor of the first degree or felony of the third degree.

Criminal Trespass — As defined in Fla. Stat. § 810.08, an individual can be charged with this offense if they willfully enter or remain in a structure, building or conveyance without authorization, a license or being invited into the structure. Criminal trespass is also known as breaking and entering. This offense is punishable as a misdemeanor of the second or first degree or a felony of the third degree.

Burglary — As defined in Fla. Stat. § 810.02, an individual can be charged with this offense if they:

  • Enter a building lawfully and remain in the building with the intent to commit a crime after they are no longer permitted; or
  • Enter a closed structure, building dwelling, building, ship, motor vehicle, ship, aircraft, or railroad car with the intent to commit a crime.

Burglary is also commonly known as breaking and entering. This offense is punishable as a felony of the third degree, felony of the second degree, or a felony of the first degree, depending on whether the alleged offender committed armed, unarmed or aggravated burglary.


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Property Crime Defenses in South Walton

Defenses may be available to certain property crimes in Destin, depending on the circumstances surrounding your particular situation. The following defenses are not applicable to every case, so it is important to consult with your criminal defense attorney to determine if these defenses may apply to your situation:

  • Duress — This defense may be available if the alleged offender was threatened injury by another person to the alleged offender or a third person if they did not commit the offense, and a reasonable person in the same situation would have acted the same as the alleged offender.
  • Justification — This defense may be available if the alleged offender is charged with committing an act that would normally be a criminal offense, but their conduct was required, authorized by law, or necessary in an emergency situation in order prevent public or private harm.
  • Reasonable Belief — This defense may be available if the alleged offender had a reasonable belief they were allowed in the building or structure where the offense took place by the building’s rightful owner. This defense only applies in situations such as breaking and entering.
  • Renunciation — This defense may be available if the alleged offender withdrew from participating in the offense before the criminal act was committed and they made substantial efforts to prevent the act from occurring.

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Property Crime Penalties in Destin

The penalties for property crimes in the Florida Panhandle are defined in sections 775.082, 775.083 and 775.084 of the Florida Statutes. The basic statutory penalties for property crimes can increase depending on many factors, including whether the alleged offender has a previous criminal history, whether a weapon was used during the commission of the offense, whether another person was present during the commission of the offense, and the type and value of property allegedly damaged during the commission of the offense. Basic property crime penalties are as follows:

  • An individual convicted of a misdemeanor of the second-degree property offense can face a jail sentence up to 60 days and/or a fine up to $500.
  • An individual convicted of a misdemeanor of the first-degree property offense can face a jail sentence up to one year and/or a fine up to $1,000.
  • An individual convicted of a felony of the third-degree property offense can face a prison sentence up to five years and/or a fine up to $5,000.
  • An individual convicted of a felony of the second-degree property offense can face a prison sentence up to 15 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • An individual convicted of a felony of the first-degree property offense can face a prison sentence up to 30 years or life imprisonment and/or a fine up to $10,000.

If the alleged offender was convicted of committing a graffiti offense, they may also be required to pay an additional fine of:

  • $250 or more for a first conviction;
  • $500 or more for a second conviction; and
  • $1,000 or more for a third or subsequent conviction.

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Resources for Property Crimes in DeFuniak Springs

Florida Statues – Burglary and Criminal Trespass – Chapter 810 of the Florida Statutes defines many property offenses and the penalties a convicted offender could face, including burglary, criminal trespass, trespass in a structure or conveyance, and breaking and entering.

Florida Statues – Arson and Criminal Mischief – Chapter 806 of the Florida Statutes defines various property crimes and penalties in Florida, including arson, criminal mischief, vandalism and graffiti offenses.

Uniform Crime Reports – This link is to the annual property crime reports, as reported by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The crime report contains various data on property crimes such as burglary and arson throughout the nation, including the areas of Florida and Okaloosa County.

Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office – The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office provides information on daily crime and arrest reports, profiles on wanted fugitives, in addition to crime prevention tips and news. The Sheriff’s Office is located at:

Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office
107 Stahlman Avenue
Destin, Florida 32541
Phone: (850) 609-2094

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Adkinson Law Firm, LLC | South Walton Property Crime Attorney

If you have been accused of a property crime anywhere in the Florida Panhandle, including the areas of Okaloosa County, Santa Rosa County, Bay County, Walton County, Holmes County, Washington County, and Escambia County, contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC today.

Clay Adkinson of Adkinson Law Firm, LLC is an aggressive DeFuniak Springs criminal defense lawyer who will make every to fight the allegations against you and help you avoid the most serious penalties and repercussions to your alleged offense. Contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC today for a free consultation at or send an online message about your alleged property offense today.