When You Need to Hire Robert Dodell for a Criminal Damage Defense Case?
Criminal Damage cases take multiple forms and can be treated as a misdemeanor or a felony. The crime of criminal damage includes:
- Defacing the property of another person;
- Tampering or altering property so that its function is impaired or its value decreased;
- Tampering with utility service property; or
- Graffiti on public or private buildings without the consent of the owner.
State prosecutor is only required to show that the Defendant acted with minimal intent of recklessness when causing the damage.
The law also permits the prosecution to charge an individual of criminal damage in a domestic violence case, so long as the property is considered community property under Arizona’s marriage laws. So an individual can be charged with damaging their own property, so long as another person possesses an interest in the property. Even if an individual is not married, but living with another, it is argued that both own or control the property.
The penalty range depends on the value of the property damage:
- Class 2 Misdemeanor: Property damage is under $250. Penalty could be fines up to $750, restitution, 2 years of probation and up to 4 months in jail.
- Class 1 Misdemeanor: Property damage is between $250 and $1,000. Penalty could be fines up to $2,500, restitution, 3 years of probation and up to 6 months in jail.
- Class 6 Felony: Property damage between $1,000 and $2,000. Penalty could be fines up to $150,000, restitution, 3 years of probation and up to 2 years in prison.
- Class 5 Felony: Property damage between $2000 and $10,000, or if the damage is inflicted to promote, further or assist any criminal street gang or criminal syndicate with the intent to intimidate. Penalty could be fines up to $150,000, restitution, 3 years of probation and up to 2.5 years in prison.
- Class 4 Felony: Property damage greater than $10,000, or if the property is that of a utility with the damage greater than $5,000 or if the person intentionally tampers with utility property and the damage causes an imminent safety hazard to any person. Penalty could be fines up to $150,000, restitution, 4 years of probation and up to 3.75 years in prison.
There is a separate crime of “Aggravated Criminal Damage”. This applies to damage to schools, places of religious worship, cemeteries or mortuaries as well as construction , utility or agricultural infrastructure. The penalty range depends on the value of the property damage and the type of property damaged. This offense can warrant fines up to $150,000, restitution, 5 years of probation and up to 8.75 years in prison.
In addition to possible incarceration, probation and fines, a domestic violence conviction will add the requirement of court-mandated counseling. This counseling could last several months. The court can also restrict communication with the victim. A domestic violence conviction can affect you in family court, resulting in the loss of custody rights and restricted visitation with a child. The consequences do not end there. You will lose your right to possess a firearm. Due to the nature of the offense, domestic violence convictions can also result in the loss of valuable job opportunities.
If you stand accused of a criminal damage offense, contact Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law, now. Your freedom, your rights and your future are at stake. It is very important that you speak to an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney. Robert A. Dodell provides individual service when protecting your rights. Contact Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law, directly by email or by calling 480-860-4321 now for a free initial consultation.