Criminal damage charges arise when you intentionally or recklessly damage someone else’s property. In Arizona, graffiti is one of the most common offenses charged as Criminal Damage. Most courts require a term of incarceration for a graffiti offense even if it is a first offense. Another common case is when people mistakenly believe that if they damage property in their own apartment they cannot be charged with criminal damage, however, if you are not the owner of the damaged property you can be charged.
Schedule your free consultation with our criminal damage lawyer in Chandler today by calling us at 480-923-9001. We are here to help.
Penalties of a Criminal Damage Conviction
Depending on the type of property and its monetary value, Criminal Damage can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.
Potential penalties include:
- Damage valued at $10,000.00 or more: Charged as a class 4 Felony and is punishable as a first offense with up to 3.75 years in prison, four years of probation, and a $150,000.00 fine
- Recklessly causing $5,000.00 worth of damage to a public utility: Charged as a class 4 Felony and punishable as a first offense with up to 3.75 years in prison, four years’ probation, and $150,000.00 fine
- Damage valued between $2,000.00 and $10,000.00: Charged as a class 5 Felony, which can be punished as a first offense with up to 2.5 years in prison, three years of probation, and a fine of $150,000.00
- Damage valued between $1,000.00 and $2,000.00: Charged as a class 6 Felony and punishable as a first offense with up to 2 years in prison, three years’ probation, and a $150,000.00 fine
- Damage valued at less than $1,000.00: Charged as a class 1 misdemeanor, which carries a maximum punishment of up to 6 months in jail, three years’ probation, and a $2,500.00 fine
- Damage valued at less than $250.00: Charged as a class 2 misdemeanor, which carries maximum punishments of 4 months jail, two years’ probation, and a $750.00 fine
The monetary value of property damage may be established by evidence of replacement value, cost of repairs, or loss of use until repaired or replaced. In the case of very personal or “priceless” items, subjective testimony speaks to sentimental value.
Depending on the severity of the charge and the value of the property, maximum penalties may include prison or jail time, probation, fines (plus surcharges and assessments), and restitution to the victim. To successfully prosecute you the Prosecutor only needs to demonstrate that the damage was the result of reckless behavior.
Our team at Villanueva Skura Attorneys at Law are prepared to evaluate the circumstances surrounding your case to create a strategy for achieving your legal goals.
Call our Chandler criminal damage attorney today for your free case consultation at 480-923-9001. We are proud to serve clients in Chandler, Gilbert, Tempe, Scottsdale, Queen Creek, and throughout all of the East Valley.