Tucson Criminal Damage Attorney
Arizona’s criminal damage statute covers offenses that involve damaging or defacing the property of another person. It can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the circumstances. It can also be attached to a domestic violence charge if there is a domestic relationship between the parties. Elias Damianakos is an experienced Tucson criminal damage attorney including domestic violence criminal damage and felony criminal damage.
Arizona’s criminal damage statute is found at A.R.S. § 13-1602, and provides as follows:
A. A person commits criminal damage by:
1. Recklessly defacing or damaging property of another person.
2. Recklessly tampering with property of another person so as substantially to impair its function or value.
3. Recklessly damaging property of a utility.
4. Recklessly parking any vehicle in such a manner as to deprive livestock of access to the only reasonably available water.
5. Recklessly drawing or inscribing a message, slogan, sign or symbol that is made on any public or private building, structure or surface, except the ground, and that is made without permission of the owner.
6. Intentionally tampering with utility property.
Proving Criminal Damage Charges
The criminal damage statute requires the prosecutor to prove that the defendant “recklessly” caused the damage to the property of another. “Recklessness” is a lower showing than “intentional” and means that the person disregarded a substantial risk that damage would occur. For example, a person who throws a cell phone against a wall during an argument disregards a substantial risk that the phone will be damaged.
Restitution & Misdemeanor Compromise
A person who is convicted of a misdemeanor offense of criminal damage is subject to restitution, which is an order by the court for the defendant to reimburse the victim for their out-of-pocket economic loss that occurred as a result of the offense. The Defendant may have the option of a “misdemeanor compromise”, which allows for the dismissal of the charge if the victim is reimbursed for their loss, and the offense is not involve domestic violence or the intent to commit a felony. As an experienced Tucson criminal damage attorney, I have been able to successfully negotiate dismissal of charges by securing misdemeanor compromise agreements.
Arizona Criminal Damage Penalties
Arizona’s criminal damage statute, A.R.S. § 13-1602, provides:
B. Criminal damage is punished as follows:
1. Criminal damage is a class 4 felony if the person recklessly damages property of another in an amount of ten thousand dollars or more.
2. Criminal damage is a class 4 felony if the person recklessly damages the property of a utility in an amount of five thousand dollars or more or if the person intentionally tampers with utility property and the damage causes an imminent safety hazard to any person.
3. Criminal damage is a class 5 felony if the person recklessly damages property of another in an amount of two thousand dollars or more but less than ten thousand dollars or if the damage is inflicted to promote, further or assist any criminal street gang or criminal syndicate with the intent to intimidate and the person is not subject to paragraph 1 or 2 of this subsection.
4. Criminal damage is a class 6 felony if the person recklessly damages property of another in an amount of one thousand dollars or more but less than two thousand dollars.
5. Criminal damage is a class 1 misdemeanor if the person recklessly damages property of another in an amount of more than two hundred fifty dollars but less than one thousand dollars.
6. In all other cases criminal damage is a class 2 misdemeanor.
C. For a violation of subsection A, paragraph 5 of this section, in determining the amount of damage to property, damages include reasonable labor costs of any kind, reasonable material costs of any kind and any reasonable costs that are attributed to equipment that is used to abate or repair the damage to the property.
As a Tucson criminal damage attorney, I have successfully defended people from all kinds of criminal damage charges. If you have been charged with criminal damage, whether a felony, or misdemeanor, or as part of a domestic violence charge, call us to discuss to your case.