Criminal Damage – Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney
Criminal Damage in Arizona
Criminal Damage is set forth in ARS 13-1602 There are several situations where you may face criminal damage charges in Arizona. You can be charged for defacing any type of property that belongs to someone else or if you tamper with property that belongs to someone else and if that tampering impacts the items function of value.
Damaging or tampering with property of utility may also be charged as criminal damage. That means graffiti can be charged as criminal damage. Also, if you inscribe or draw anything on a structure, building or another surface that is not yours, and that you do not have permission from the lawful owner to do so, you can be charged with criminal damage. The aggressive and experienced criminal damage attorney can help you understand the situation and work to protect your legal rights.
There are several defenses that can be used against a criminal damage allegation in Phoenix or through out Arizona. The knowledgeable and experienced services offered by a criminal damage defense attorney can help. Some of the defenses that may be able to help get the charges either reduced or dismissed, or to win at trial, include:
- The damage did not impact the value or the usefulness of the property in question
- lack of intent to cause any damage
- No reckless activity
- The evidence is insufficient to cause any damage to the property
Penalties for Criminal Damage
Penalties and consequences for a criminal damage conviction vary based on the value of the damage that has been caused. Some of the potential consequences you may face include:
- Damage of more than $10,000: This is considered a class 4 felony. As such, if it is your first offense, you may face up to a $150,000 fine, along with 3.75 years in prison, as well as four years of probation.
- Causing $5,000 of damage due to reckless actions to a public utility: Another situation where you are facing a class 4 felony. The potential consequences are the same – up to a $150,000 fine, along with 3.75 years in prison, as well as four years of probation.
- Damage that that is valued at $2,000 to $10,000: Considered as a class 5 felony. As a first-time offender, you face fees and fines of up to $150,000, along with 2.5 years in prison, as well as three years of probation.
- Damage that is valued at $1,000 to $2,000: Charged as a class 6 felony. If you are a first-time offender, you face a fine of up to $150,000, along with two years in prison, as well as three years of probation.
- Damage that is valued at under $1,000: Charged as a class 1 misdemeanor. This charge carries with it a maximum fine of $2,500, along with as much as six months in jail, as well as three years on probation.
- Damage that is valued under $250: This is considered a class 2 misdemeanor. The maximum penalty for this is a fine of up to $750, a well as four months in jail and two years of probation.
The way the government needs to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you are guilty of this charge is by presenting evidence that the damage occurred due to your reckless behavior/actions. A common charge in criminal damage cases is graffiti, or if you were speeding and caused an accident. What’s even more ridiculous I when a gang allegation is tacked onto these types of charges such as participating in or assisting a criminal street gang. If the underlying criminal damage charge is a class 4, 5, or 6 felony then 3 years of prison can be stacked onto a sentence of criminal damage is pursuant to A.R.S. §13-714 if the alleged offense was committed with intent to promote, further, or assist a criminal street gang.
Criminal Damage Defense Lawyer Serving Phoenix And Throughout Arizona
If you are facing criminal damage charges, contact the Litwak Law Group now to schedule a free consultation.