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Recent Humane Society break-in could lead to serious penalties

Recently, the Humane Society of Charlotte was broken into. The damages - including theft and vandalism - are estimated to be in the thousands of dollars. The damages include two stolen computers, a smashed computer monitor, a broken do and sliced wires. A spokesperson noted that the break-in occurred after all of the employees had left for the night. No animals were harmed during the occurrence.

Even though it might seem like a minor offense, breaking and entering, and vandalism can carry hefty consequences. Not only will an individual accused of this crime potentially face a criminal record that could limit housing and educational opportunities in the future, but there could be immediate penalties as well. A criminal conviction can mean jail time, fines, restitution, community service or probation.

Theft crimes, often referred to as crimes against property, are not limited to situations such as this one. They can encompass a wide range of offenses including arson, burglary, vandalism or criminal trespass. Based on the severity of the charge and your criminal record, you could face significant consequences if you are convicted.

Though authorities currently do not know who is responsible for the theft and damage, if someone is caught and charged in connection with the crime they should do what they can to mount an aggressive defense. This is usually best accomplished via the assistance of a criminal defense attorney who may be able to expose weaknesses in a case. From poor quality surveillance recordings to unreliable eyewitness testimony, working with a lawyer who has experience in these types of cases may be the best way to build an effective defense. For these reasons, it is wise to seek legal guidance as soon as possible. A skilled defender who has your best interests in mind can work diligently from the start to provide an accused individual a strong, effective defense either via negotiation or traditional courtroom litigation.

Source: WCNC, "Vandals break-in to the Humane Society of Charlotte," Tony Burbeck, October 30, 2014

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