Understanding the 6 Types of Criminal Damage

how criminal defense attorneys work in azIn the state of Arizona, there are many different criminal charges you can face and what the penalties for those charges are can be even more confusing.  If you have been arrested and charged with criminal damage it is not necessarily straightforward – you can be found guilty of criminal damage even if you engage in 6 different types of conduct.  It is important to understand and be aware of the different types of criminal damage so that you do not commit an act of criminal damage or so that you understand what you face if you have already been arrested.  Interestingly, many people do not realize that you can actually be charged with criminal damage of your own property if it is co-owned by a spouse.  Armed with information about criminal damage, you will be able to better prepare and understand the important of hiring an experienced attorney when fighting to win your case.

6 Types of Criminal Damage in Arizona

  1. Recklessly defacing or damaging property belonging to another person.
    • Note: community property can apply to this charge meaning that you can be charged with damaging your own property if it is co-owned by a spouse.
  2. Tampering with property so as to substantially impair its value.
    • Note: Tampering with property does not necessarily mean permanent damage. It may include tampering with property that includes reversible or fixable actions as long as the property’s value has been impaired in some way.
  3. Damaging the property belonging to a utility.
    • Note: This charge does not occur often.
  4. Parking a vehicle as to deprive livestock of water.
    • Note: This charge does not occur often.
  5. Recklessly writing or drawing graffiti on the side of a building without the permission of the owner.
    • Note: This charge is typically a misdemeanor, not a felony.
  6. Intentionally tampering with the property of a utility.
    • Note: This charge does not occur often.

As you can see, it is rare to see criminal charges #3, #4, and #6 but as experienced attorneys, Alcock Law is able to handle any criminal defense for criminal damage.  Arizona criminal damage penalties vary depending on the value of the destruction to the property.  If the damage is less than $1,000 it is a misdemeanor.  If the value of the damage is $1,000 or more it will be a felony charge but the class of felony depends on just how significant the damage is.  Regardless of whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor or a felony it is important to hire an experienced Arizona criminal defense attorneys to give you the best possible outcome in your case.


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Here at Alcock and Associates our team and staff are dedicated to helping and representing YOU. The first step is to understand your case. We will take the time to get to know you and your legal situation so that we are best able to answer all of your questions. After your initial consultation with our attorneys, you will know what you are facing and what can happen to your case.


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