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Criminal damage cases involving private property can take many forms, and in the state of Arizona, they can be either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the details and intent. These crimes can be easy to prosecute because only minimal intent of recklessness when causing damage is needed to be shown by the prosecutors.

However, property damage cases can prove to be tricky for both sides in the courtroom, and that is why your best chance of getting the charges dropped or reduced is to work with a criminal defense attorney who knows the criminal damage laws and the best-proven tactics to defend your rights.

With more than two decades of experience and a proven track record of success, Sonoran Law Group is your best choice when it comes to finding the most competent defense team for your criminal damage case.

What does Criminal Damage mean?

Under ARS § 13-1602, the definition of criminal damage in Arizona is:

  • Damaging the property of another individual
  • Defacing or modifying a property with intent to impair its function or decrease value
  • Recklessly damaging or meddling with the utility service property
  • Graffiti of messages, slogans, signs or symbols on any public or private building, structure or surface without owner’s consent
  • Parking any vehicle that deprives livestock of access a water source
  • In domestic violence cases, individuals can be charged with criminal damage if the property is considered to be shared according to marriage laws in Arizona
    • The interesting implication of this provision is that individuals can be charged for damaging their own personal property if the other party can prove possession of interest in that property
  • Aggravated criminal damage can be charged when damage is done to schools, places of religious worship, cemeteries or mortuaries, as well as construction, utility or agriculture infrastructure

(This charge carries much heavier penalties than those listed below)

Punishments for Criminal Damage Convictions

This statute serves a great purpose for protecting the property of others, and as a deterrent, the penalties that are served with convictions of criminal damage include restitution and potential jail time.

Below is an overview of the various penalties associated with the different classifications of criminal damage charges based on the value of damages.

  • Under $250 – convictions carry a class 2 misdemeanor charge and potentially the following:
    • Fines up to $750
    • Up to 2 years of probation
    • Up to 4 months in jail
  • Between $250-$1,000 – a class 1 misdemeanor charge can be filed as well as the following penalties:
    • Fines up to $2,500
    • Up to 3 years of probation
    • Up to 6 months in jail
  • Between $1,000-$2,000 – defendants face a class 6 felony charge and the following:
    • Fines up to $150,000
    • Up to 3 years of probation
    • Up to 2 years in jail
  • Between $2,000-$10,000 or if the damage caused was intended to promote, further or assist any criminal gang or group with the purpose of intimidation – class 5 felony can be charged against the defendant as well as:
    • Fines up to $150,000
    • Up to 3 years of probation
    • Up to 2.5 years in jail
  • Greater than $10,000 or $5,000 if the property is a utility or the damage made to a utility causes an imminent safety hazard to any person will result in a class 4 felony charge as well as:
    • Fines up to $150,000
    • Up to 4 years of probation
    • Up to 3.75 years in jail

Make Sure Your Rights are Upheld

If you stand accused of criminal damage charges, contact Sonoran Law Group today for your free consultation to review your case. The penalties for criminal damage to property convictions can impact your freedom and financial stability for the foreseeable future.

Feloy convictions on your record can be detrimental in your pursuit of employment, housing, licenses/permits, and other aspects of daily life. Our team of experienced criminal defense lawyers will adamantly defend your case, rights, and freedom.