Arizona Criminal Damage Laws

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Crimes against properties can carry just as harsh sentences as crimes against people. Arson is an especially serious offense. If you are facing serious felony charges like these, or you need to contact a skilled Arizona criminal attorney immediately. Even a misdemeanor offense can leave you with a permanent criminal record and serious difficulties.

A criminal damage charge can also be an element of a domestic violence offense of the damage is caused to someone in such a relationship to you. These cases nay also be prosecuted more aggressively. Call for a consultation on any criminal damage or destruction of property offense in Arizona.

Criminal Damage ARS 13-1602

There are several reasons you may be charged with criminal damage. The charge of criminal damage may be applicable if you:

  • deface or damage property of someone else
  • tamper or alter the property of someone else so that it impairs the function or value
  • tamper with the property of a utility (water, electric services)
  • graffiti on any public or private building without the owner’s consent.

The potential sentence you may be facing depends on the value of the property that was damaged…

If the value of the property is:

  • $10,000 or more
  • $2,000 -$10,000
  • $250 – $2,000
  • less than $250
Then the charge is a :

  • class 4 felony punishable by up to 2 ½ years in prison
  • class 5 felony punishable by up to 1 ½ years in prison
  • class 6 felony punishable by up to 1 year in prison
  • class 2 misdemeanor punishable by up to 4 months in jail

If the damaged property is a utility, you are facing a class 4 felony charge with a potential sentence of 2 ½ years in prison.

Aggravated Criminal Damage ARS 13-1604

What makes criminal damage “aggravated” is the structure that was damaged. Some structures are seen as more sacred than others and those are included under the heading of aggravated criminal damage. Those structures include:

  • A church or place used for worship or other religious purposes
  • A school or other educational facility
  • Any cemetery, mortuary, or structure used for memorialization of the dead
  • Any construction, utility, or agricultural site damaged with the purpose of obtaining metals.

If you are found guilty of aggravated criminal damage you are facing some serious potential sentences.

If the value of the damaged property is:

  • more than $10,000
  • $1,500- $10,000
  • less than $1,500
Then the potential sentence is:

  • up to 3 ½ years in prison
  • up to 2 ½ years in prison
  • up to 1 ½ years in prison

There are several classifications of arson. All of which are serious crimes:

Reckless Burning ARS 13-1702

Reckless burning is when a person recklessly burns or causes a dire or explosion which results in damage to a structure or other property.

Reckless burning is a class 1 misdemeanor and is punishable by up to $2,500 in fines and 6 months in jail.

Arson of a Structure or Property ARS 13-1703

Arson of a structure or property is committed when a person knowingly and willingly damages a structure or property by causing a fire or explosion.

If the arson is committed on a structure, it is a class 4 felony punishable by up to 2 ½ years in prison.

If the arson is committed on a property (rather than a structure) the classifications are as follows:

If the value of the property is:

  • more than $1,000
  • more than $100 and less than $1,000
  • less than $100
Then the charge is a:

  • class 4 felony punishable by up to 2 ½ years in prison.
  • class 5 felony punishable by up to 1 ½ years in prison
  • class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail

Arson of an Occupied Structure ARS 13-1704

If you are charged with arson of an occupied structure you are facing an even stricter sentence. It is a class 2 felony with a potential sentence of up to 5 years in prison.

Being found guilty of a crime as serious as this can change the course of your life.

Anytime you have the potential to lose your freedoms, you want to be certain you are making good choices. An experienced firm can give you the reassurance you need.

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