Vandalism: Arizona Laws

Vandalism - storefront glass with multiple bullet holes and shattered glass


Vandalism: Arizona Laws


The most common type of property damage in Arizona is criminal damage, or vandalism. It is illegal for anyone to deface or damage another person’s property. There are different types of actions that are considered vandalism, and all come with significant consequences. Coolidge Law knows the distinctions in criminal law and provide you with excellent defense strategies for crimes allegedly committed in Scottsdale, Gilbert, Chandler, and Mesa areas.

What Warrants Arrest for Vandalism?

If I fall and create a dent in a car, or in a wall, will I be arrested? No, not necessarily. The intent and type of damage determines whether or not there may be an arrest. Here are a few examples of actions warranting arrest:

  • Defacing or damaging property.
  • Drawing signs, words, pictures on private or public property, also known as graffiti.
  • Tampering with property to impair function or value.

Crimes of vandalism are taken very seriously and not just ignored. People arrested for vandalism will be convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the severity of the crime.

Consequences of Vandalism

There are many different types of actions that are considered vandalism, not only in action but also in intent. These crimes can also be considered hate crimes if they are racially spurred or done intentionally for someone to release their rage or frustration. This is then considered malicious vandalism. All types of vandalism are illegal, but can have different punishments based on the circumstances. The possible punishments include:

  • Class 1 Misdemeanor: Charged on cases where property damages is valued at more than $250 but less than $1,000. All other cases of criminal damage are prosecuted as Class 2 Misdemeanors.
  • Class 6 Felony: Charged when the damage to property is valued between $1,000 and $2,000.
  • Class 5 Felony: Charged when the damage to property is valued at $2,000 and $10,000.
  • Class 4 Felony: Charged when the damage to property is valued at more than $10,000 or more, or if they cause $5,000 or more in damage to a utility.

If you are charged with vandalism in Arizona, contact Coolidge Law to help defend you.


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (10/5/2017) Grey Hargreaves Flickr)