Posted on November 12, 2021 in Criminal Defense
Criminal mischief is a property crime on the books in every state. In Arizona, criminal mischief is better known as “Criminal Damage.”
There are two statutes that prosecutors can use to charge you for criminal mischief in Phoenix:
If the state is accusing you of criminal damage, you need to lawyer up, and fast!
To prove criminal mischief in Phoenix, prosecutors need to prove each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
Criminal damage in violation of ARS 13-1602 has six elements:
The elements of aggravated criminal damage are very similar, except that the property damaged must have been one of the following:
Aggravated criminal damage is always a felony, unlike regular criminal damage to property, which can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony.
A classic example of criminal mischief / damage is graffiti. Other examples could include egging a house or keying a car. Of course, criminal damage can also involve much more serious types of damage to property. As the dollar value of the damage increases, so do the penalties.
Many good kids and young adults get caught spray painting someone’s property. Other times, romantic couples might damage property after a fight in a burst of passion. A Phoenix criminal attorney can help if you’ve been charged with criminal damage.
Now that we have defined criminal mischief, it is important to understand the penalties you could face if convicted. A criminal defense lawyer has many tools at their disposal to fight hard against your charges.
Your unique charges and penalties could be different. In general, the penalties for criminal damage to property are:
|$10,000 + in damage OR damage to a utility||Class 4 Felony||1 – 3.75 years prison; up to $150,000 fine|
|$2000 – $10,000 in damage OR damage done in furtherance of gang activity||Class 5 Felony||6 months to 2.5 years prison; up to $150,000 fine|
|$1000 – $2000 damage||Class 6 Felony||4 months to 2 years prison|
|$250 – $1000 damage||Class 1 Misdemeanor||Up to 6 months jail; $2500 fine|
|Under $250 damage||Class 2 Misdemeanor||Up to 4 months jail; $750 fine|
In addition to these penalties, the court may also order payment of restitution. This is when you pay to repair the damaged property.
Aggravated criminal damage can have even steeper penalties than the ones described above. No matter which criminal mischief statute you are charged with, you need to work closely with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to fight the allegations.
Some examples of ways to fight a criminal mischief case in Phoenix include:
For more information, contact the criminal defense attorney Craig Orent. Give us a call at (480) 656-7301 or visit our law office at 11811 N Tatum Blvd UNIT 3031, Phoenix, AZ 85028. We offer a free case evaluation, so get the help you deserve today.