2020’s been a banner year for protestors–from the Black Lives Matter movement taking America by storm to anti-mask protests, there are so many situations where a peaceful protest has turned into a disturbance.
Look anywhere on the news and you will find looters breaking windows, stealing merchandise from local businesses, inciting violence, and causing fires that can burn down entire historic buildings.
However, many of those who are arrested for looting were simply protestors caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. You should never be ashamed to stand up for your constitutional rights and participate in a peaceful protest, but when things turn ugly, it can have disastrous consequences for your future.
Being apprehended by the police and charged with looting is a serious crime and should not be taken lightly.
Penalties for Looting Charges – Burglary Charges
Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently said that looters should be charged with “third-degree burglary”, which would mean that the accused are not allowed to make bail and may have to stay in jail for extended periods of time. This charge also carries with it up to five years of probation and up to seven years in prison.
In a more severe situation, looters can be charged with second-degree burglary, which carries even more serious consequences. Those charged with second degree-burglary will face up to — years in prison as well as a long probationary period and fines of up to — dollars.
These types of accusations can have potential consequences that may end up ruining your life. After all, anyone who is in prison for years and has a felony charge on their back will have a much harder time obtaining a job after their sentence is over. It’s important to contact an attorney immediately if you are facing charges for looting to help diminish or avoid these consequences for your rightful constitutional action of peacefully protesting in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Protesting Can Turn to Riots in the Blink of an Eye
Tensions are high all across the country, not just in NYC, and this leads to explosive action that may turn peaceful protests into violent and property-damaging riots. While this should not deter anyone from using their right to peacefully protest, it should give you an idea of why you should take situations like this very seriously.
If you or a loved one have been accused of looting during a protest or riot, contact our offices today to speak to a criminal defense attorney who can defend you from these unfair charges. Do not hesitate when it comes to this matter–every day, more laws pass regarding the penalizations for looting, and in some states, your right to vote may be taken away.
While this is not yet the case in New York, taking action as soon as possible is your best bet.