What is Criminal Damage?

ARS § 13-1602 Arizona Criminal Damage Law

Criminal Damage Defined

Criminal damage, in Arizona, is damaging, defacing, or tampering with property that belongs to another person.

According to Arizona Revised Statute 13-1602,

A. A person commits criminal damage by: 1. Recklessly defacing or damaging property of another person. 2. Recklessly tampering with property of another person so as substantially to impair its function or value. 3. Recklessly damaging property of a utility. 4. Recklessly parking any vehicle in such a manner as to deprive livestock of access to the only reasonably available water. 5. Recklessly drawing or inscribing a message, slogan, sign or symbol that is made on any public or private building, structure or surface, except the ground, and that is made without permission of the owner. 6. Intentionally tampering with utility property.

Criminal Damage: A Crime of Recklessness

All but one of the six definitions for Criminal Damage in Arizona begins with the word “recklessly.” Arizona statute defines “reckless” as an awareness of actions without regard for the consequences, specifically, when the consequences are likely to cause substantial risk. It is also considered reckless when a person unknowingly creates risk because they are intoxicated.

Criminal Damage Definitions

It is helpful to break down some of the definitions in the criminal damage statute in order to understand it more clearly.

  • Property of a Utility: This refers to any utility service, such as water or electricity.
  • Defacing: To deface something is to ruin its appearance. Graffiti is often referred to as defacing.
  • Intentionally: If someone’s objective is to cause a certain result or engage in a certain conduct, this is referred to as “intent.”

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Penalties for Criminal Damage in Arizona

Criminal Damage in Arizona can be designated a Class 4 Felony, Class 5 Felony, Class 6 Felony, Class 1 Misdemeanor, or Class 2 Misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances involved in the alleged offense.

  • Class 4 Felony Criminal Damage: Property damage valued at $10,000 or more OR property damage of a utility amounting to $5,000 or more or the tampering caused an imminent safety hazard.
  • Class 5 Felony Criminal Damage: Property damage between $2,000 and $10,000 OR if the damage was gang/organized crime related.
  • Class 6 Felony Criminal Damage: Property damage valued at $1,000 to $2,000.
  • Class 1 Misdemeanor Criminal Damage: Property damage valued at $250 to $1,000.
  • Class 2 Misdemeanor: Any other criminal damage case.

How does Arizona determine the dollar amount of property damage?

When determining the dollar value of property damage, the court will take into consideration three factors:

  1. The cost of labor to repair the damage
  2. The cost of material to repair the damage
  3. The cost of equipment to repair the damage

Arrested for an ARS § 13-1602 violation? Call (602) 428-7104

If you or someone you love was arrested for Criminal Damage, we encourage you to contact a Phoenix criminal damage attorney at MayesTelles PLLC. Our team has handled thousands of cases and are prepared to help you fight your felony or misdemeanor charges.

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