The holidays are a time of fun and cheer. It is also a season that can bring out the inner jokester in some. We are here to forewarn you that certain actions can get you in trouble and placed on the naughty list with a criminal record. Punching your neighbor’s outdoor blow up Santa for example could end up with you facing criminal damage and vandalism charges if your neighbor doesn’t see your actions as just harmless “fun.” In those instances, our criminal defense attorneys in Scottsdale can assist you.
Examples of holiday vandalism that can result in criminal charges:
- Puncturing Santa. As the title of this article suggests, punching (or in this case, puncturing) Santa is a crime that can end with you arrested. In Cedar Grove, New Jersey, two men pulled up to a home in a Jeep Cherokee at night, punctured the inflatable Santa on the homeowner’s lawn, and left. Neighbors reported the criminal damage and police are looking for suspects.
- Attacking a nutcracker. Venice Florida resident Andrew Craven was an avid “outdoor holiday display” enthusiast until vandals began to damage his display every night. To find out who the culprits were, Craven put up a video camera in his yard and began to record, in hopes of catching the vandals that kept knocking down and wrecking his display. He was successful at catching the man on camera and subsequently turned the tape over to police. Police will prosecute if the vandal is caught.
When to Seek the Services of a Criminal Defense Attorneys in Scottsdale
Criminal damage laws in Scottsdale are strict. If you punch and/or damage someone’s blow up Santa or other outdoor holiday decoration, you could end up needing the services of criminal defense attorneys in Scottsdale.
Per Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-1602 someone can face arrest for criminal damage if:
- They’ve defaced or damaged anyone’s property;
- They’ve tampered with someone’s property such that it can’t function properly, and/or has lost value; and,
- They draw signs or symbols (“graffiti“) on someone’s holiday decorations or other property.
You may also face additional hate crime charges if the criminal damage is found to be malicious and motivated by hate or bias.
When to Remain Silent
If you (or a loved one) is facing criminal damage charges and arrest in Scottsdale, exercise your right to remain silent. By not doing so you could unwittingly get yourself in trouble by agreeing to speak to police without an attorney present.
Criminal damage charges are classified as follows:
- Class 1 misdemeanor – the value of the property damage is more than $250 but less than $1,000.
- Class 2 misdemeanors – the value of the property damage is less than $250.
- Felony – a misdemeanor can escalate into a felony if property damage exceeds $1,000.
Charged with Punching Santa in the Kisser? Contact Our Scottsdale Criminal Defense Attorneys 24/7
Whether innocent or guilty, anyone accused of “punching Santa” or worse could face serious charges. These charges could result in fines, jail time, and a criminal record. Contact our criminal defense attorneys right away by calling 602-667-7777, day or night. We offer free consultations and affordable payment plans.