Phoenix Criminal Damage Attorneys
What Is Criminal Damage?
You can be charged with criminal damage if you damage or deface any property belonging to another person, or if you tamper with the property of another person, resulting in the impairment of its value or function. Tampering or damaging with the property of utility is also considered criminal damage. Graffiti is criminal damage if you draw or inscribe anything on any building, structure, or surface that is not yours or without the permission of the lawful owner. The experienced and knowledgeable criminal damage attorneys at MayesTelles PLLC can help you protect your rights.
Call (602) 428-7104 today to speak to a Phoenix criminal attorney at MayesTelles PLLC.
What Are the Penalties for Criminal Damage?
The consequences for a criminal damage conviction vary depending on the value of the damage.
Below is a brief overview of the charges and potential penalties for varying degrees of criminal damage:
- Class 2 Misdemeanor: When the damaged property is valued at less than $250; penalties include up to 4 months in jail, up to $750 in fines, and 2 years’ probation
- Class 1 Misdemeanor: When the damaged property is valued at less than $1,000; penalties include up to 6 months in jail, up to $2,500 in fines, and 3 years’ probation
- Class 6 Felony: When the damaged property is valued between $1,000 and $2,000; penalties include up to 2 years in prison, up to $150,000 in fines, and 3 years’ probation for a first offense
- Class 5 Felony: When the damaged property is valued between $2,000 and $10,000; penalties include up to 2.5 years in prison, up to $150,000 in fines, and 3 years’ probation for a first offense
- Class 4 Felony: When the damaged property is valued at $10,000 or more; penalties include up to 3.75 years in prison, up to $150,000 in fines, and 4 years’ probation for a first offense
Additionally, when an individual is charged with recklessly causing $5,000 worth of damage to a public utility, he or she can be charged with a class 4 felony. Penalties include up to 3.75 years in prison, up to $150,000 in fines, and 4 years’ probation for a first offense
In any case, prosecutors need only prove that the damage was the result of
reckless behavior. For example if a person was in a car accident and damaged a utility pole
and that person was found to have been speeding, the prosecutor will seek
a conviction on the basis that the speeding was the reckless cause to
the damage to the utility pole.
Graffiti is one of the most common offenses charged as criminal damage. Most courts require a term of incarceration for a graffiti offense even it is a first offense. In other cases 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.
Defending against Criminal Damage Allegations
There are many variations and defenses to criminal damage allegations. What is common about all criminal damage charges is that they are serious and will likely result in incarnation if convicted. The experienced and knowledgeable criminal damage defense attorneys at MayesTelles PLLC are here to help you.
We can use any of the following defenses to help fight for reduced or dismissed charges:
- Insufficient to cause damage to the property
- Lack of intent to cause damage
- Lack of reckless activity
- Damage did not impair usefulness or value of property
Contact MayesTelles PLLC for Criminal Damage Defense
If you have been arrested for a criminal damage allegation, there are harsh penalties on the line. Our firm has had extensive success taking on these types of cases and we can help you. Our top priority is building the most effective defense possible to help our clients achieve the desired outcome.
Get started now by scheduling a free consultation with us! Contact a Phoenix criminal lawyer at MayesTelles PLLC by calling (602) 428-7104.