Criminal Damage in Phoenix, Arizona
Suppose you thought it would be entertaining to draw a picture on another person’s personal property. It may have been done lightheartedly, but it could be considered legally reckless. And depending on the damage done, you could be facing felony charges. Coolidge Law Firm, serving the greater Phoenix area, has over 25 years of experience in criminal law. That means we have defended clients whose intentions ranged from unintentional to malicious. Here’s what you need to know about criminal damage in Phoenix, AZ.
What is Classified as Criminal Damage in Phoenix, AZ?
As per A.R.S. §13-1602, the criminal damage has a broad scope of meaning. It can be a tricky crime to substantiate because many times it lacks enough evidence to link the suspect to the crime—either an eyewitness, or surveillance footage, or similar evidential proofs.
According to the City of Phoenix Website, a person commits criminal damage by recklessly or intentionally:
- Defacing or damaging property of another person.
- Tampering with the property of another person, so as substantially to impair its function or value.
- Damaging the property of a utility.
- Parking any vehicle in such a manner as to deprive livestock of access to the only reasonably available water.
- 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.
- Tampering with utility property.
Sentencing for Criminal Damage
Criminal damage can range in severity from accidentally throwing a rock through a neighbor’s window, to intentionally setting a house on fire. In accordance with the severity of the crime, charges for criminal damage can be either misdemeanor charges or felony charges.
The City of Phoenix Website also defines sentencing guidelines for Criminal Damage:
- Criminal damage is a class 4 felony if the person recklessly damages property of another in an amount of ten thousand dollars or more, or if the person recklessly causes impairment of the functioning of any utility.
- 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.
- Criminal damage is a class 6 felony if the person recklessly damages property of another in an amount of more than two hundred fifty dollars but less than two thousand dollars.
- 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.
- In all other cases, criminal damage is a class 2 misdemeanor.
Aggravated Criminal Damage
If you’ve committed criminal damage in Phoenix, AZ, it can be considered aggravated if it occurs on sacred or religious property, at a school or educational facility, at a cemetery or mortuary, or on an agricultural facility. Aggravated criminal damage may result in stricter punishment pursuant to A.R.S. §13-1604.
If you’re facing aggravated or standard criminal damage charges, Todd Coolidge is here to help. We’re certified criminal specialists with a pulse on Arizona courts and a thorough understanding of our state’s criminal law. Contact us today to learn more about your specific charges, and we’ll discuss possible strategies to give you the best possible outcome for your case.
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (4/07/2018) Sam Beebe (Flickr)