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What is a Criminal Damage Charge in Arizona?

There are many Arizona laws that seem pretty straightforward.  For example, pretty much everyone knows what they have done if they get charged with DUI.  shutterstock_120244150People probably understand why they are being charged with a drug violation.  But what exactly constitutes criminal damage in Arizona and what are the penalties associated with such a charge?

Arizona classifies Criminal Damage in ARS 13-1602

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.

 

Criminal damage is punished as follows:

  1. Criminal damage is a class 4 felony if the person recklessly damages property ofanother 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.

 

Every criminal damage case is different and can even involve community property such as a home shared by a husband and wife and the damage can be either reversible or fixable.  Because of the wide scope of a criminal damage charge, it is important to hire an experience criminal damage attorney to represent you and fight for your rights.  At Alcock Law, we have an immense amount of experience representing clients in their Arizona criminal damage case and not just representing them but winning cases.  Penalties for your criminal damage case can be significant so contact an experienced Arizona criminal damage attorney as soon as possible to start strategically developing your case to get you the best possible outcome.

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Alcock & Associates P.C.
2 North Central Avenue, 26th Floor
Phoenix AZ 85004