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What to Expect If Accused of Criminal Property Damage

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Criminal Property Damage in Arizona

One of the most common damage crimes in the state of Arizona is criminal property damage. Depending on the severity of the property damage and the value of the property, you can face charges ranging from a class 2 misdemeanor to a class 4 felony. Criminal property damages can seriously affect you in many negative ways, which is why you need a quality, knowledgeable defense attorney to help mitigate or absolve you of the charges. With the right team, you can get the help and hope you need to protect your rights.

Degrees of Criminal Property Damage

Under ARS 13-1602, criminal property damage is committed by “recklessly defacing or damaging property of another person.” In addition to damaging property, criminal property damage charges may be brought against you if you recklessly or intentionally tamper, inscribe messages or slogans, or impair the function or value of another person’s property. The degrees of criminal property damage depend upon the value of the property you damaged and the extent of the damage that has been incurred upon the property.

Ramifications If Convicted

If you are convicted of criminal property damages, there is a range of ramifications that you will be subject to. According to 13-1602, the sentencing depends upon the value of the property and the damage that has been done to the property. For example, if you are a first-time offender and the property value is less than $250, then you are facing a class 2 misdemeanor that is punishable by up to four months in jail. On the other hand, if the value of the property is between $2,000 and $10,000, then you face a class 5 felony that is punishable by up to 1.5 years in prison. If the value of the property is over $10,000, then the felony is a class 4 and is punishable by up to 2.5 years in prison.

Aggravated Property Damage

In certain situations, the criminal property damage can be considered “aggravated” if you have damaged certain structures. In the state of Arizona, an aggravated conviction is treated as worse than regular property damage because of the nature of the property. Aggravated property damage occurs when you damage institutions, such as churches, schools, cemeteries, and construction sites. If you are faced with aggravated property damage, then ramifications are potentially more serious in terms of sentencing. For example, you can face a class 6 felony with anywhere from 18 months to 27 months in prison.

Seek Legal Counsel

If you have been charged with criminal property damage, then having an experienced and quality criminal defense attorney can help you get the legal help and representation that you deserve for a fair outcome. If you are in the Flagstaff or northern Arizona area, then contact the Law Offices of Gonzales & Poirier today. Our criminal defense attorneys have the knowledge to help you through the justice system by providing you with high-quality representation.