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Property Crimes to Support a Drug Habit



This is where we really start to get into problems because there are a lot of people so addicted to drugs and are some desperate for it, they begin to start to commit crimes related to their thirst for drugs.

They will break into homes.  And they will break into homes while people are in there.  They’re so messed up.  They’re so incredibly out of it because of their drug use, they don’t even think that you’re breaking into somebody’s home and when you do that you’re going to get charged with a burglary.  And you’re going to get charged with a burglary with the person present.

That’s a strike.  That’s a violent felony.  You’re typically going to prison for that.  You’ll have a strike on your record for the rest of your life and you’re going to serve 85% of the time.

Burglary and Robbery Using a Weapon

So, if you’re going to break into somebody’s house over a drug habit, you better be prepared to suffer the consequences of that.  That’s why prosecutors and judges are so angry with a lot of these Proposition that have passed, giving people a chance who are using drugs, because they know and they realize that people don’t just use drugs. California Property Crimes to Support a Drug Habit

They commit other crimes in order to support their habit.  They’ll even commit robberies.  They’ll go up to people with a weapon — a knife or gun — and they’ll steal their watch.  They’ll steal their phone.  They’ll steal other property and once they get that, they sell the merchandise or the property for pennies on the dollar so that they can then get money to support their drug habit.

That is real stuff that is happening out in society and obviously, if somebody is being motivated because of drugs versus being motivated because of greed, the prosecutors and the judges will look at that.

They will consider that when evaluating the case — whether the person really was in their right mind when they committed this property-related offense – whether it be a robbery, getting somebody on the street taking their stuff, whether it be going into somebody’s home.  Another property crime we see is going into stores and stealing things, getting the property, selling the property and using the money to buy drugs.

So, these property crimes are real and they’re serious and society is sick of them because people get hurt when other people are committing these type of crimes.  People try and guard their property.  They try to stop people from taking their property.

Individuals don’t like their property taken and just because somebody is on drugs, obviously doesn’t give them the green light to steal another person’s property, either by breaking into their house or some other way that they effectuate the crime.

Drug Use and Property Crime is Not A Valid Defense

So, drugs being behind a property crime is not a defense.  But it’s certainly a mitigating factor versus somebody who just wants money, goes in robs a bank or goes into somebody’s house and takes all their property and then they’re going to use it because they need money.

There is a fine line between you need money and you need money for drugs.  Both are obviously not going to be accepted by prosecutors and judges and they’re going to look at the circumstances of every offense in deciding whether the person should go to prison, should go to county jail or should get any jail time at all related to the offense on what a particular person has done.

What dangerous are inherent in what they have done because that’s very important.  They’re going to look at if you risk anybody’s life, if you use a weapon, if somebody gets hurt, what the value is of the property taken, whether you go into somebody’s home.

That’s probably one of the biggest things that prosecutors and judges don’t like because they have homes and they know that people break into other people’s homes and how dangerous it is.  People get shot.  People get stabbed.  People get hurt.  People lose their sense of well-being of their mind.  A person’s home is their castle.

Other people should not be going into it.  You should have a safe haven in your home.  So, prosecutors and judges hate it when individuals go into a home and violate somebody else’s rights and take their property.

If you’re taking high-dollar items out of a person’s home, they’re going to try to send you to prison for as long as they can.  They’re going to try to mark your record.  Whether or not you have a drug addiction is not going to matter to the judge and the prosecutor.  At some point because of how important it is for them to guard the sanctity of the home.

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Ronald D. Hedding, ESQ.

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