San Francisco Property Crimes Defense Attorney: Skilled Representation for Your Case

Learn how The Law Office of Valery Nechay, a leading San Francisco criminal defense attorney, can help protect your rights against charges like theft, burglary, and vandalism. Get professional legal advice today.

Criminal Defense Lawyer for Property Crimes in San Francisco

Property crimes are non-violent crimes that typically involve the theft, destruction, or misappropriation of another person’s property without due consent. These crimes can carry severe penalties, from fines and community service to lengthy prison sentences.

At The Law Office of Valery Nechay, our defense team understands the intricacies of the law regarding property crime and the need for robust legal representation. We are committed to defending our clients against property crime accusations.

Whether facing charges for shoplifting or arson, securing an experienced attorney can profoundly impact the outcome. We work diligently to protect your rights and aim to achieve the best possible results in each case.

What Are Property Crimes?

Property crimes are offenses that involve the theft, destruction, or unauthorized use of someone else’s property. These crimes can range from minor misdemeanors to serious felonies, depending on the severity and circumstances.

Types of Property Crimes Under California Law

Property crimes in California encompass a wide range of offenses, each carrying unique legal implications and penalties. From arson to burglary, understanding these distinctions is crucial.


Arson is defined in California PC § 451 as willfully and maliciously setting fire to or aiding and abetting in setting fire to any structure, forestland, or property. The result of arson can range from minor damage to severe destruction, including loss of life. Penalties are based on the severity, including significant jail time and fines.


Burglary is entering a building or other property intending to commit theft or any felony. Penalties vary depending on whether the burglary is first-degree (residential) or second-degree (commercial and others).

Forgery and Counterfeiting

Forgery and counterfeiting refer to the creation, alteration, or use of false documents with the intent to defraud. These offenses can lead to hefty fines and imprisonment, depending on the offense’s scale and impact. In most cases however, forgery is a misdemeanor.


Larceny involves theft crimes. It is defined as the unlawful taking and carrying away of someone else’s personal property with the intent to deprive the owner permanently. California Penal Code §486 states that there are two degrees of theft or larceny. They are- petty theft (under $950), which is a misdemeanor, and grand theft (over $950), which is a felony.


Extortion, or blackmail, is obtaining property or money through coercion, threats, or intimidation. Extortion may be categorized as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the particulars of the case, resulting in severe penalties, including significant prison terms.


Embezzlement is the fraudulent appropriation of funds or property entrusted to one’s care for personal use. This crime often overlaps with white-collar crime and has serious consequences, impacting future employment and housing opportunities. Our dedicated embezzlement defense strategies can provide essential support.

Defending Against Property Crime Charges

Property crime charges require a detailed and precise defense strategy. Common defense strategies include:

  • Lack of Intent: A strong defense against property crime charges is to argue a lack of intent. Intent is essential for a conviction, and if it can be demonstrated that the accused did not deliberately or knowingly commit the offense, such as acting accidentally or under a legitimate misunderstanding, the prosecution’s case can be significantly weakened. This defense focuses on proving that the accused did not have the specific intention to commit a crime.
  • Mistaken Identity: Often, individuals are wrongly accused. We examine witness statements and evidence to challenge the identity of the perpetrator. Providing alibis or evidence showing the accused was elsewhere can prove someone else committed the crime, challenging the prosecution’s case.
  • Consent: This defense argues that the accused had permission from the rightful owner to use or take the property. If it can be shown that the owner consented to the accused’s actions, it negates any criminal intent and undermines the prosecution’s case. This can be supported by evidence or testimony from the owner confirming the granted permission.
  • Ownership of Property: This defense asserts that the accused is the rightful owner of the property in question. If the accused can prove ownership through documentation or other evidence, it establishes that no crime occurred, as one cannot illegally take or use their own property. This defense focuses on showing that the property belonged to the accused, eliminating any grounds for criminal charges.
  • Insufficient Evidence: This defense argues that the prosecution has failed to provide enough credible evidence to prove the accused committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. By highlighting gaps, inconsistencies, or lack of concrete proof in the prosecution’s case, the defense can demonstrate that there is not enough evidence to support a conviction. This strategy focuses on raising doubt about the accused’s guilt and emphasizing the prosecution’s burden of proof.

Why Choose The Law Office of Valery Nechay?

At The Law Office of Valery Nechay, we are highly experienced in California criminal defense with a particular focus on property crimes. Our firm, located in San Francisco, has an established reputation for excellence in defending clients’ rights.

We make initial legal advice accessible by offering a free consultation. Our licensed attorneys have been recognized for their achievements, such as being selected to Rising Stars by Super Lawyers from 2021 to 2024.

We handle cases across the entire Bay Area, including San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Marin County, Napa, Sonoma, and Solano counties. This wide geographical reach ensures that clients across these regions can benefit from our legal know-how.

When choosing our firm, clients benefit from our deep legal knowledge of the criminal justice system. This translates into strategic defenses and well-informed legal advice, which are crucial in facing property crime charges.

For those looking for an experienced criminal defense lawyer, The Law Office of Valery Nechay stands out due to our client-focused approach, proven track record, and extensive regional presence.

Contact Our Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

Schedule a free consultation to discuss the details of your case. Seeking representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney is crucial. Our practice areas cover various property and criminal offenses, ensuring comprehensive support.

Engaging a professional defense attorney early on can significantly impact your case’s outcome. You can contact our law office for a consultation at any time. Let us help you fight your criminal charges with the vigor and skill the situation requires.


If you are under investigation or charged with a crime, I will consult with you in person and at no charge to you.