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Putting up a posters in New York? Be aware of property crimes law

Did you know that property crimes in New York carry significant penalties? Even if you are not accused of shoplifting, you could find yourself in hot water for property crimes such as vandalism or graffiti charges. Even seemingly innocent handbills can get you in trouble with New York City law enforcement officers -- so it is important to know your legal rights and responsibilities when it comes to property crimes defense.

So, what are the various elements of property crime in the city? Codes about posting and graffiti address crimes associated with posting handbills on utility poles, trash cans, parking meters and mailboxes, among others. Placing handbills or posters on trees can also carry penalties of up to $550. Even stickers and decals can be considered under vandalism statutes, particularly if the decal is placed on private property. Finally, residents must be aware that placing advertisements on vehicles can also constitute a crime.

For most of us, these activities may seem like great ways to receive publicity for an event or cause. However, placing a poster on a city structure can lead to major penalties -- and you do not want to be caught in the legal system simply because you wanted to advertise a concert or sell your bicycle. Defendants may not know that each handbill or poster that is placed can constitute a separate property crime. That means that every single piece of paper that you place on a car could carry a fine of up to $200. That's a steep penalty!

If you have been accused of property crimes related to posting or graffiti charges, you need the help of a qualified attorney. You need to understand your legal rights and responsibilities in order to make the most of your property crimes defense. Mitigate the impact of far-reaching consequences on your future -- and your pocketbook -- by enlisting legal representation.

Source: NYC Department of Sanitation, "Graffiti Laws," accessed Dec. 30, 2016

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