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Criminal Damage Attorney Tucson

Arizona Criminal Damage Attorney

Being charged with criminal damage isn’t good. With a good Tucson criminal defense attorney , you greatly increase the chances of avoiding felony conviction, jail, and years in prison. A criminal damage attorney will properly represent you when charged in such a manner, moving to have such charges reduced towards a more desired outcome. 

In and around Tucson, good criminal damage attorneys can help reduce the stresses petty legal disputes can cause. If you or someone you know has been charged with defacing a private building, attempting to substantially impair someone’s public or private building, or just attempting to damage property, contact us. It’s completely confidential.

Door Glass Broken Behind A Caution Tape

Classification and Penalties for Criminal Damage Charges

Since Arizona is a “community property state,” spouses co-own everything. As a result, criminal damage and domestic violence charges are often levied in tandem. The state brings domestic violence charges because the co-ownership moves the dispute into the domestic violence arena. A Tucson domestic violence attorney can be useful if you’ve been charged. 

AZ Penalties for Criminal Damage Convictions:

Felony criminal damage convictions range from 24 to 33 months in prison, with fines up to $150,000, and three to four years probation. Misdemeanor convictions net four to six months in jail, fines from $750 to $2,500, and probation from 24 to 36 months.

Penalties for criminal damage are classified by the value of the damaged property. See the list below:

  • Class 4 felony- $10,000 or more
  • Class 4 felony- (a utility property valued) $5,000 or more, or damage that creates an imminent safety hazard
  • Class 5 felony- $2,000-$10,000
  • Class 6 felony – $1000,-$2,000
  • Class 1 misdemeanor- $250-$1000
  • Class 2 misdemeanor- $250 or less

Criminal charges that are felony offenses stem not from damaging the property of another person, but from community property, public utility buildings, tampering with utility property, and private buildings. When a person intentionally tampering with a utility building accidentally breaks something, the criminal act is a felony offense. 

Criminal Damage Defined

Criminal damage charges allege that a person was intentionally tampering with property belonging to someone else, seeking to impair its function, or that a person recklessly damages 

the property of another person with criminal intent. Damaging someone’s cell phone counts as defacing or damaging property. It’s the same when a person intentionally tampers with a bike. 

Proving Criminal Damage Charges

Criminal damage statute A.R.S. 13-1604 defines “aggravated criminal damage”, which involves defacing or damaging buildings, personal property, places of worship or any religious purpose, an educational facility or school, a mortuary property or any place used to memorialize the dead, or an agricultural facility. Aggravated criminal damage charges are felony charges.

These statutes seek to discourage criminal syndicate activities, like a criminal street gang marking territory or damaging property as a means to threaten or intimidate. Sometimes, the reckless drawing on a building is just done by a bored teenager. A class 5 felony or years in prison for tagging a building is harsh. 

Aggravated criminal damage also applies to people who deprive livestock of access to the only reasonably available water in the area, or when a person somehow intentionally tampers with a part of the property to substantially impair its function. 

How Is “Recklessness” Defined In Arizona?

In Arizona, 13-105(10)(c) states a person recklessly damages property when “…a person is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur or that the circumstance exists…” 

The implication here is that when one person allegedly damages the property of another heinously, the state seeks to up the ante on penalties. The statute states “it (recklessness) constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the situation.” 

Good criminal damage attorneys attack or shut down angles where the prosecution cites recklessness to get people convicted of a petty crime or otherwise minor violation. If you or someone you know has been charged with recklessly defacing, tampering, parking, damaging property, or recklessly drawing, contact us for a free consultation.

DV Criminal Damage: The Offense and Potential Consequences

In domestic disputes, cooler heads typically prevail. However, regarding criminal damage in Arizona, the law means business. For example, if the police arrive at a dispute between spouses and find any criminal damage whatsoever, that charge now includes domestic violence. Someone is risking a criminal damage conviction for damaging their stuff!

It’s silly enough to think that a couple would have an argument and reconcile, only to be charged with a crime, and face potential jail time and penalties. If you or someone you know is charged with criminal damage, and a spouse’s property is damaged, the prosecutor’s charges will probably include domestic violence.

Vehicle With A Broken Window

DV Criminal Damage: Possible Defenses

There are a few different common defenses against domestic violence and criminal damage. Here are some of the most common. 

Unreliable Investigation and Evidence

Here, the integrity of the police’s investigation and evidence are called into question. Records, statements, valuations, and even police reports can all be used here to beat property damage charges.

Mistaken Identity

If the case against you relies on eyewitness accounts, look to compromise the testimony of the witness. Eyewitness testimony is a notoriously unreliable source of evidence. Errors in identifying someone happen all the time. 

Mere Presence

For those arrested and charged at the scene of a domestic violence criminal damage dispute, their lawyers can argue that merely being at the scene isn’t an admission of guilt.

Constitutional Challenges

Miranda Violations, illegal searches and seizures, and the right to counsel are all challenges that lawyers can use to defend clients. People’s constitutional rights are often violated without them even knowing. These cases make for excellent defenses in criminal damage cases.

Damage Value

Through this criminal defense strategy, the defense argues that the values of the damaged properties are overvalued. When your legal defense can successfully shrink the item’s value, felony charges shrink into misdemeanors, probation, and cases that get thrown out. 

Diversion Agreement

These agreements make special arrangements for charges to be dropped at a later date upon repaying the item’s value, participating in some classes or counseling, or completing community service. This is an outstanding criminal damage defense. 

Misdemeanor Compromise

Here a civil compromise can be reached, whereby jail time, fines, probation, and all charges can be dropped. Once the offended party and the defense reach their agreement, the problem is solved. This criminal defense strategy also serves as a bridge to help the two parties reconcile.