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Have you been charged with criminal damage in Arizona? Don’t accept a plea deal before speaking with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Chandler and surrounding areas such as Gilbert, Glendale, Scottsdale and Tempe.
Under Arizona law, anyone who “recklessly” defaces, damages or tampers with the property of another person can be arrested and charged with criminal damage. Whether that person is charged with a felony or misdemeanor depends on the cost associated with the damage.
Misdemeanor Criminal Damage
For instance, if the offense causes damage of less than $250 the offender will be charged with a Class 2 Misdemeanor. Damage between $250 and $1,000 is classified as a Class 1 Misdemeanor under Arizona law. Penalties for a misdemeanor offense include up to six months in jail and fines. A skilled criminal defense attorney in Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale and Phoenix can help you avoid jail time if you are fighting charges of criminal damage.
Felony Criminal Damage
Criminal damage that results in more than $1,000 in damage is considered a felony offense in Arizona. The maximum penalty for a Class 6 Felony is 1.5 years in prison. A Class 5 Felony (damage from $2,000 to $10,000) carries a maximum penalty of 2 years in prison. Damage that exceeds $10,000 is considered a Class 4 Felony and carries a maximum penalty or three years in prison.
Aggravated Criminal Damage
Certain offenses will rise to the level of aggravated criminal damage, with maximum penalties ranging from 1.5 years to 7 years in prison, depending on the severity of the offense. Damage or defacement of the following types of structures or property could lead to an aggravated criminal damage charge:
· A structure or building used for worship
· School or educational facility
· Cemetery or mortuary
· Utility or agricultural infrastructure
· Construction site
The degree of the felony and maximum penalty will depend on the level of damage and the costs associated with repairing the damage.
If you’ve been charged with Criminal Damage in Arizona, contact The Arizona Criminal Law Team as soon as possible. We will work to defend you against these accusations and help you avoid jail or prison time.