Phoenix Criminal Damage Lawyer

Criminal damage is the crime of damaging another person’s property. Most commonly, criminal damage charges are for:

  • Defacing or damaging another person’s property.
  • Substantially tampering with another person’s property as to impair its function or value.
  • Drawing or inscribing a message, slogan, sign or symbol on any public or private building or structure.

Criminal damage charges vary greatly in Arizona. Penalties are based on the type of property that is damaged and how much damage has been done to the property. You can learn more about the different consequences that come with criminal damage and aggravated criminal damage charges below:

A.R.S. 13-1602 defines criminal damage as:

  1. Defacing or damaging property.
  2. Tampering with property to substantially impair its function or value.
  3. Tampering with or damaging the property of a utility.
  4. Parking any vehicle in a way that will deprive livestock of access to the only reasonably available water.
  5. 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.

Criminal damage charges vary by the value of the property damaged. An outline of how the charges and penalties vary can be found in the chart below:

Property Damage

Classification

Maximum Penalty

$10,000+

Class 4 Felony

3 Years

$2,000 – $10,000

Class 5 Felony

2 Years

$1,000 – $2,000

Class 6 Felony

1.5 Years

$250 – $1,000

Class 1 Misdemeanor

6 Months

All Other Cases

Class 2 Misdemeanor

4 Months

A criminal damage charge can increase to an aggravated criminal damage charge if a person defaces or damages:

  1. Any building, structure, or place used for worship or other religious purposes.
  2. Any building, structure, or place used as a school or educational facility.
  3. Any cemetery, mortuary, or personal property of the cemetery or mortuary.
  4. Any utility or agricultural infrastructure or property or construction site.

Aggravated criminal damage conducted at schools, cemeteries, and places of worship is punishable as follows:

Property Damage

Classification

Maximum Penalty

$10,000+

Class 4 Felony

3 Years

$1,500 – $10,000

Class 5 Felony

2 Years

All Other Cases

Class 6 Felony

1.5 Years

Aggravated criminal damage conducted at a construction site, utility, or agricultural infrastructure is punishable as follows:

Property Damage

Classification

Maximum Penalty

$10,000+

Class 3 Felony

7 Years

$1,500 – $10,000

Class 4 Felony

3 Years

All Other Cases

Class 5 Felony

2 Years

When it comes to determining the amount of damage done, officials will look at repair costs and replacement costs of the property.

If you’re facing criminal damage or aggravated criminal damage charges, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. You can schedule a free consultation with our Phoenix criminal law attorneys by calling (480) 467-4370.

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