Arizona Criminal Damage
Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) §13-1602 and §13-1604 define criminal damage. In most cases, “criminal damage” occurs when a person “recklessly” damages, defaces, or tampers with someone else’s property in a way that substantially impairs it’s function or value. Most noteworthy, the damage does not need to be intentional or significant. A reckless act that results in a simple “visual impairment,” such as a scratch, can end up in a conviction.
If the damaged property belonged to a spouse or significant other, it can even be classified as a domestic violence offense.
Additionally, there are other acts that if done recklessly, and without express permission constitute criminal damage. These include:
- Damaging the property of a utility;
- Parking a vehicle in such a manner as to deprive livestock access to the only reasonably available water; or
- Drawing or inscribing a message, slogan, sign, symbol on any public or private building, structure, or surface, except the ground.
Now that you know the basics, let’s dig further to discover what the potential penalties could include if a conviction occurs.
Felony Criminal Damage
Criminal damage becomes a Class 4 felony if the property is valued at $10,000 or more. Or, belongs to a utility and is valued at more than $5,000.
- Penalties: For a first offense a Class 4 felony, you could be placed on probation with an initial jail term of up to 12 months. Or, be sentenced to for anywhere from 1 to 3.75 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections.
Criminal damage is a Class 5 Felony if the property is valued at $2,000 or more but less than $10,000. Or, if the damage is in furtherance of any criminal street gang with the intent to intimidate.
- Penalties: For a first offense a Class 5 felony, you could be placed on probation with an initial jail term of up to 12 months. Or, be sentenced to for anywhere from 6 months up to 2.5 years.
Criminal damage is Class 6 Felony if the property is valued between $1,000 and $2,000.
- Penalties: For a first offense a Class 6 felony, you could end up placed on probation with an initial jail term of up to 12 months. Or, you could face a sentenced anywhere from 4 months up to 2 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections.
Misdemeanor Criminal Damage
Criminal damage is a Class 1 misdemeanor if the property is valued at $250 or more but less than $1,000.
- Penalties include a possible sentence of up to 6 months in jail and $750 to $2,500 in fines.
In all other cases, criminal damage becomes a Class 2 misdemeanor where property is valued at less than $250.
- Penalties include a possible jail sentence of up to 4 months in jail and $750 in fines.
Aggravated Criminal Damage
“Aggravated Criminal Damage” occurs when a person, intentionally or recklessly without permission, damages or defaces any of the following:
- Personal property or a place used for worship or any religious purpose;
- A structure used as a school or educational facility;
- At a cemetery or mortuary; or
- Any utility or agricultural infrastructure or property, construction site or existing structure for the purpose of obtaining nonferrous metals.
§13-1604 clearly defines the penalties for aggravated criminal damage. These penalties differ from those stated above for felony and misdemeanor criminal damage.
Facing a Criminal Damage Charge? Get the help of an Aggressive Criminal Defense Attorney.
If charged with criminal damage in Arizona, consult with an experienced local criminal defense attorney right away. At Lerner and Rowe Law Group, our criminal defense lawyers have handled hundreds of criminal cases all across the state.
This experience gives us the edge to know how to challenge the state’s evidence. It also makes it easier for us to pinpoint weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. By doing so, we can work towards getting criminal charges dismissed or reduced.
When you contact our law group, you can feel confident our criminal attorneys will fight to protect your rights. We’ll do this from every angle to ensure a successful outcome for your case. If charged with criminal damage in Arizona, contact our firm at (602) 667-7777 to schedule a free consultation. So, don’t wait. We look forward to hearing from you and also, answering all of your questions.