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Criminal Damage

Watch this short video where David explains Criminal Damage in Arizona:

Criminal Damage in the Phoenix area, or anywhere in Arizona, per A.R.S. §13-1602 and §13-1604 “Criminal Damage” occurs when a person “recklessly” defaces, damages, or tampers with someone’s property as to substantially impair it’s function or value.

“Criminal Damage” also occurs by drawing or inscribing a message, slogan, sign or symbol on any public or private building, structure or surface, without permission of the owner. “Aggravated Criminal Damage” occurs when the Criminal Damage, either intentionally or recklessly committed, takes place at a place of worship, at a school or educational facility, or at a cemetery or mortuary (i.e., any place designed for the purpose of burying or memorializing the dead).

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If you have been charged with Criminal Damage in Phoenix or Arizona you need expert and knowledgeable legal representation. The Law Offices of David Michael Cantor are here 24/7 to talk with you about your case. Call 602-307-0808 for a Free Consultation.

Possible Punishment for Criminal Damage

For standard “Criminal Damage” (i.e., not “Aggravated Criminal Damage” cases), if the amount of damage is $10,000.00 or more, it can be charged as a class four (4) felony. A first offense class four (4) felony punishment can be probation with zero (0) days in jail up to one (1) year in jail, or prison of one (1) year to three and three quarters (3.75) years of incarceration. If the person has one (1) allegeable historical prior conviction, then the “prison only” range is two and one quarter (2.25) to seven and one half (7.5) years of incarceration. If the person has two (2) allegeable historical prior convictions, then the “prison only” range is six (6) to fifteen (15) years of incarceration.

If the amount of damage is $2000.00 or more, but less than $10,000.00, it can be charged as a class five (5) felony. For a first offense class five (5) felony, punishment can be probation with zero (0) days up to one (1) year in jail, or prison of six (6) months to two and one half (2.5) years in custody. If the person has one (1) historical allegeable prior felony conviction, then the “prison only” range is one (1) to three and three quarters (3.75) years of incarceration. If the person has two (2) historical allegeable prior felony convictions then the “prison only” range is three (3) years to seven and one half (7.5) years of incarceration.

If the Criminal Damage amount of loss is $1000.00 or more, but less than $2000.00, then this can be charged as a class six (6) felony. For a first offense a class six (6) felony, punishment can be probation with zero (0) days up to one (1) year in jail, or prison of four (4) months to two (2) years of incarceration. If the person has one (1) historical allegeable prior felony conviction, then the “prison only” range is nine (9) months to two and three quarters (2.75) years in prison. If the person has two (2) historical allegeable prior felony convictions, then the “prison only” range is two and one quarter (2.25) to five and three quarters (5.75) years of incarceration.
If the Criminal Damage amount of loss is $250.00, but less than $1000.00, it can be charged as a class one (1) misdemeanor, punishable by a term of probation and up to six (6) months in jail.

If the amount is less than $250.00, it can be charged as a class two (2) misdemeanor. A class two (2) misdemeanor carries a range of punishment of probation and up to four (4) months in jail. Additionally, a fine of $750.00 plus 84% surcharges can be imposed.

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Possible Punishment for Aggravated Criminal Damage

For “Aggravated Criminal Damage”, if the amount of damage is $10,000.00 or more, this can be charged as a class four (4) felony. For a first offense class four (4) felony, punishment can be probation with zero (0) days in jail up to one (1) year in jail, or prison of one (1) year to three and three quarters (3.75) years of incarceration. If the person has one (1) allegeable historical prior conviction, then the “prison only” range is two and one quarter (2.25) to seven and one half (7.5) years of incarceration. If the person has two (2) allegeable historical prior convictions, then the “prison only” range is six (6) to fifteen (15) years of incarceration.

If the amount of damage is $1500.00 or more but less than $10,000.00, then this can be charged as a class five (5) felony. For a first offense class five (5) felony punishment can be probation with zero (0) days up to one (1) year in jail, or prison of six (6) months to two and one half (2.5) years in custody. If the person has one (1) historical allegeable prior felony conviction, then the “prison only” range is one (1) to three and three quarters (3.75) years of incarceration. If the person has two (2) historical allegeable prior felony convictions then the “prison only” range is three (3) years to seven and one half (7.5) years of incarceration.

If the amount is less than $1500.00, then this can be charged as a class six (6) felony. For a first offense class six (6) felony, punishment can be probation with zero (0) days up to one (1) year in jail, or prison of four (4) months to two (2) years of incarceration. If the person has one (1) historical allegeable prior felony conviction, then the “prison only” range is nine (9) months to two and three quarters (2.75) years in prison. If the person has two (2) historical allegeable prior felony convictions, then the “prison only” range is two and one quarter (2.25) to five and three quarters (5.75) years of incarceration.

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Possible Defenses to Criminal Damage and Aggravated Criminal Damage

Two key defenses to Criminal Damage are “Lack of Intent” and “Lack of Criminal Recklessness”. These are accomplished by demonstrating that a person did not “intentionally” cause damage or “recklessly” cause damage, to the property of another. For example, if somebody is merely in a car accident, then they should not be charged with Criminal Damage, even if their conduct in the accident could seem as somewhat reckless; this is because “criminal recklessness” has a very specific definition. In order to be “criminally reckless,” a person must have acted in a way that is a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the same situation. It is important to demonstrate to the prosecutor that although there has been damage to some property as a result of the defendant’s actions, any damage caused was unintentional, and a reasonable person would not have acted wildly different from the defendant if put in his situation.

Additionally, because our law firm fights conviction from all angles, we would assert a wide range of defenses and challenges to constitutional violations that apply in all criminal cases. The possibilities are numerous and diverse. One of those we frequently assert is a “Miranda rights violation.” In Arizona, the standard of whether any incriminating statement (i.e., a statement which tends to admit guilt) is admissible into evidence is based upon a “voluntariness” standard. If we can demonstrate that the police coerced you (i.e., intimidated or tricked you) into making a confession or inculpatory statement, or that they did not properly read you your Miranda Rights, then we can suppress those statements and any evidence gathered as a direct result of those statements. In addition, the “denial of right to Counsel” is another common defense which is often raised. This occurs when a suspect is in custody and requests to speak to their attorney, but is denied and questioning continues. Other defenses may include challenging the validity of any search warrant, or whether there were any “forensic flaws” during the investigation of your case. Depending on what else you have been charged with, this could include exposing flawed procedures regarding blood, breath, and urine testing; fingerprints analysis; DNA testing; ballistics; gunshot residue testing; etc.. Lastly, one of the most common defense tactics is exposing sloppy or misleading police reports which include everything from misstatements, false statements, flawed photo line-ups and inaccurate crime scene reconstruction. It is important to hire a skilled Criminal Damage lawyer to defend you, who has knowledge of all the possible defenses to assert in your case.  Before speaking with other lawyers, check out our Criminal Damage victories page.

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It is important to hire an AV® rated law firm (the highest possible rating by Martindale Hubbell®). Also David Michael Cantor is a Phoenix Criminal Attorney and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. In addition, the Firm and all of its lawyers and Criminal Law Specialists are listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers®. At the Law Offices of David Michael Cantor, P.C., the majority of our Attorneys are ex-Prosecutors, and all of our Phoenix Criminal Damage Attorneys know the system well. For a free initial consultation, Call Us at 602-307-0808 for a 24/7 Free Consultation.

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