A.R.S. §13-1602 Criminal Damage – Phoenix, Arizona
Pursuant to A.R.S. §13-1602, Criminal Damage, occurs when a person recklessly defaces, damages, or tampers with someone’s property as to substantially impair it’s function or value. You can also be charged for recklessly damaging a utility or parking any vehicle in a manner as to deprive livestock of access to the only reasonably available water.
If you recklessly draw, inscribe a message, slogan, sign, or symbol on any public or private building, structure or surfaces (except the ground) without the permission of the owner you will be charged with criminal damage. Damages for this type of criminal damage include reasonable labor costs of any kind, reasonable material costs of any kind and any reasonable costs that are attributed to equipment that is used to abate or repair the damage to the property.
Criminal damage is a Class 4 felony if the person recklessly damages property of another in an amount of ten thousand dollars or more.
Criminal damage is a Class 4 felony if the person recklessly damages the property of a utility in an amount of five thousand dollars or more or if the person intentionally tampers with utility property and the damage causes an imminent safety hazard to any person.
Criminal damage is a Class 5 felony if the person recklessly damages property of someone else in an amount of two thousand dollars or more but less than ten thousand dollars or if the damage is inflicted to promote, further or assist any criminal street gang or criminal syndicate with the intent to intimidate and the damage is not above $10,000 or does not involve damage to a utility more than $5,000.
Criminal damage is a Class 6 felony if the person recklessly damages property of another in an amount of one thousand dollars or more but less than two thousand dollars. Criminal damage is a class one misdemeanor if the person recklessly damages property of another in an amount of more than two hundred fifty dollars but less than one thousand dollars. In all other cases criminal damage is a class 2 misdemeanor.
What is Aggravated Criminal Damage?
A.R.S. 13-1604. defines Aggravated criminal damage as a person commiting aggravated criminal damage by intentionally or recklessly without the express permission of the owner:
- Defacing, damaging or in any way changing the appearance of any building, structure, personal property or place used for worship or any religious purpose.
- Defacing or damaging any building, structure or place used as a school or as an educational facility.
- Defacing, damaging or tampering with any cemetery, mortuary or personal property of the cemetery or mortuary or other facility used for the purpose of burial or memorializing the dead.
- Defacing, damaging or tampering with any utility or agricultural infrastructure or property, construction site or existing structure for the purpose of obtaining nonferrous metals.
Aggravated criminal damage punishments
Aggravated Criminal Damage with amount of damage $10,000.00 or more, can be charged as a class four felony. If the amount of damage is $1,500.00 or more but less than $10,000.00, then it can be charged as a class five felony. If the amount is less than $1,500.00, then this would be charged as a class six felony.
Defending Criminal Damage Charges in Arizona
The best way to start your defense is attacking the Mens Rea, or mental state. If there is a lack of intent or lack of recklessness, the state cannot prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Criminally recklessness requires that a person must have acted in a way that is a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the same situation. If what you did was not completely out of the norm of what an average person did in causing the damage, you may have a strong defense. Mistaken identification may also play a role, as well as third-party defense or even necessity.