Property Damage in Arizona

Criminal Property Damage in Arizona

The Crime of Criminal Damage in Arizona, A.R.S. 13-1602

Arizona has a very broad statute regarding the offense of criminal damage, A.R.S. 13-1602, and it can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor depending on the value of the damage. Because the statute is very broad someone involved in a car accident which causes damage to the other vehicle by definition is criminal damage if the accident was caused recklessly rather than negligently. Fortunately, most law enforcement agencies and prosecutors do not charge the common auto accident as criminal damage.

A person may be charged with the crime of criminal damage by acting recklessly in the following circumstances:

  1. Defacing or damaging property belonging to another person, or
  2. Tampering with property of another person so as to substantially impair its function or value, or
  3. Tampering with property of a utility, or
  4. Parking any vehicle in such a manner as to deprive livestock access to the only available water, or
  5. Without the permission of the owner, drawing or inscribing a message, slogan, sign or symbol that is made on any public or private building, structure or surface, except the ground.

A familiar example of criminal damage is graffiti on public or private buildings, such as a house or store, and structures like fences or signs.

When a spouse is charged with criminal damage of shared property then the offense may be designated as a crime of domestic violence. The domestic violence designation may enhance the penalty imposed by the court for repeat domestic violence offenders.

Property means anything of value, tangible or intangible, including trade secrets.

Property of another is property in which any person other than the defendant has an interest on which the defendant is not privileged to infringe, including community property.

When a person is charged with criminal damage the Phoenix criminal defense lawyer Brian Di Pietro is needed to favorably resolve the case. With over thirty years as a criminal lawyer both in prosecution and criminal defense Mr. Di Pietro has that experience and knowledge he can draw upon for the benefit of his client. When you need a tough, experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney call Brian Dipietro Law, PLLC.

Penalty for Criminal Damage in Arizona, A.R.S 13-1602

Penalties for criminal damage in Arizona, A.R.S. 13-1602, range from a class 4 felony to a class 2 misdemeanor. The class of offense depends on the monetary value of the amount of damage or impairment.

  • Criminal damage in Arizona is a class 4 felony if the damage to the property of another is more than $10,000.
  • It is also a class 4 felony for a person to recklessly damage the property of a utility in an amount of $5,000 or more if the person recklessly causes impairment of the functioning of the utility.
  • It is a class 5 felony if the person recklessly damages property of another in an amount of $2,000 to $10,000.
  • Criminal damage is a class 6 felony if the person recklessly causes damage to the property of another in an amount of $1,000 to $2,000.
  • It is a class 1 misdemeanor if the person recklessly damages property of another in an amount of $250 to $1,000.
  • In all other cases criminal damage is a class 2 misdemeanor.

Defenses to the Offense of Criminal Damage in Arizona, A.R.S. 13-1602

The potential for a defense to a charge of criminal damages in Arizona, A.R.S. 13-1602, depends on the circumstances of the crime charged. A potential defense to the charge of criminal damage is mistaken identity. This defense is used when the accused is identified by a third party as the perpetrator of the crime.

Another defense may be based on the value of the property damaged. For example, the government may claim the value of the damage is more than $2,500 making the offense a class 5 felony, and the defense is that the value of the damage is only $1,900 making the offense a lesser class 6 felony.

The defense of mere presence is available to a third party who is merely at the scene of the crime but takes no part in the crime whatsoever. This might occur when a couple of friends are walking along and one person suddenly and without warning decides to spray Graffiti on a wall while the friend merely watches.

It is also possible to argue that any damage caused to property was not the result of recklessness as required by the statute, but mere negligence.

There may be other defenses to the charge of criminal damage in Arizona, A.R.S. 13-1602, such as:

  • Mistaken identity
  • Mere presence
  • Alibi
  • Insufficiency of state’s evidence

Brian DiPietro Law PLLC Arizona Experienced Tough Aggressive Lawyer for a Charge of Criminal Damage

Contact Brian DiPietro Law PLLC today for a free case evaluation about your pending property damage case involving criminal damage in Arizona. Brian DiPietro is an experienced, tough, aggressive Phoenix criminal defense attorney who will work hard to fight the charges against you to achieve the most favorable outcome for your particular property damage charges. Contact now Brian DiPietro Law PLLC at 623-242-2655, for a free confidential case evaluation about your criminal damage charges in Arizona.

Aggravated Criminal Damage in Arizona

The Crime of Aggravated Criminal Damage in Arizona, A.R.S. 13-1604

Aggravated criminal damage in Arizona, A.R.S. 13-1604, occurs when a person intentionally or recklessly and without permission of the owner does any of the following:

  1. Defacing, damaging or in any way changing the appearance of any building, structure, personal property or place used for worship or any religious purpose.
  2. Defacing or damaging any building or structure or place used as a school or as an educational facility.
  3. Defacing, damaging or tampering with any cemetery, mortuary or personal property of the cemetery or mortuary or other facility used for the purpose of burial or memorializing the dead.
  4. Defacing, damaging or tampering with any utility or agricultural infrastructure or property, construction site or existing structure for the purpose of obtaining of nonferrous metals.

Examples of violating this law could be the knocking over of tombstones in a cemetery, graffiti on a church or school, or the taking of copper wire from a utility.

Aggravated criminal damage in Arizona, A.R.S. 13-1604, is a serious offense to be charged. The assistance of an experienced, aggressive and tough criminal defense lawyer, such as Brian Di Pietro, has the experience and knowledge to favorably assist one who is charged with aggravated criminal damage.

Penalty for Aggravated Criminal Damage in Arizona, A.R.S. 13-1604

The penalty for aggravated criminal damage in Arizona can range from a class 3 felony to a class 6 felony, and depends on the specific violation of the law. Intentionally or recklessly damaging or defacing property of another will result in the following penalty:

  • Damage to a utility, construction site or for the obtaining of nonferrous metals in the amount of $10,000 or more is a class 3.
  • Damage to a building, structure, personal property, place of worship, school, mortuary or cemetery is a class 4 felony.
  • Damage to a utility, construction site or for the obtaining of nonferrous metals in an amount of $1,500 to $10,000 is a class 4 felony.
  • Damage to a building, structure, personal property, place of worship, school mortuary or cemetery in an amount of $1,500 to $10,000 is a class 5 felony.
  • In all other cases aggravated criminal damage for damage to a utility, construction site or for obtaining nonferrous metals is a class 5 felony.
  • In all other cases aggravated criminal damage for damage to a building, structure, personal property, place of worship, school, mortuary or cemetery is a class 6 felony.

Defenses to a Crime of Aggravated Criminal Damage in Arizona, A.R.S. 13-1604

The potential for a defense to a charge of aggravated criminal damages in Arizona, A.R.S. 13-1604, depends on the circumstances of the crime charged. A potential defense to the charge of aggravated criminal damage is mistaken identity. This defense is used when the accused is identified by a third party as the perpetrator of the crime, and the identification is mistaken.

Another defense may be based on the value of the property damaged. For example, the government may claim the value of the damage is more than $1,500 making the offense a class 5 felony, and the defense is that the value of the damage is only $1,200 making the offense a lesser class 6 felony.

The defense of mere presence is available to a third party who is merely at the scene of the crime but takes no part in the crime whatsoever.

It is also possible to argue that any damage caused to property was not intentional or was not the result of recklessness as required by the statute, but may be mere negligence.

There may be other defenses to the charge of aggravated criminal damage in Arizona, A.R.S. 13-1603, such as:

  • Mistaken identity
  • Mere presence
  • Alibi
  • Insufficiency of state’s evidence

Brian DiPietro Law PLLC Arizona Experienced Tough Aggressive Property Damage Lawyer for Aggravated Criminal Damage Charge

Contact Brian DiPietro Law PLLC today 623-242-2655, for a free case evaluation about your pending property damage case involving aggravated criminal damage in Arizona. Being charged with a felony is a serious matter and can have grave consequences should a person be convicted, it is very important that a person obtain the best attorney possible for their defense, that is Arizona criminal defense attorney Brian DiPietro. With his 30 years of personal experience in criminal law, Mr. DiPietro has the best credentials to properly represent a person charged with a felony. Those 30 years of criminal defense experience has resulted in the toughness and knowledge necessary to protect the constitution rights of the accused.