Damaging property holds harsh consequences for people who often have mostly innocent intentions. While defacing public property might seem like an insignificant act, the state of Arizona is determined to assign the proper penalties to people who choose to act against the government and fellow citizens in this way.
The Arizona Revised Statutes, Section 13-1603, clearly lays out the causes for criminal damage charges. The list includes:
These are common occurrences in Arizona, which is why the government feels the need to address the issue with strict punishments and legal procedures. Although many of these actions are acted out against objects, the consequences aren’t very different from crimes against fellow humans.
All penalties for property damage are related to the value attached to the property harmed in the incident. Unless the structure was very insignificant, property damage almost always results in a felony charge. The punishments are as follows:
The Arizona Revised Statute, Section 13-1603, is abundantly clear about how the state of Arizona plans to deal with people who don’t take criminal damage seriously. Having a felony on record can significantly cripple a person’s ability to find work, maintain civil rights, and more.
This type of damaged wins the term aggravated because it refers to property damage inflicted on sacred establishments and structures. Places of worship, schools, cemeteries, construction sites, and agricultural sites all hold substantial significance to certain communities.
Intentionally damaging these places elicits more severe punishment from the court. Punishments outlined in the Arizona Revised Statutes, Section 13-1604, include:
Other serious offenses in Arizona include reckless burning, arson, and arson of an occupied structure. Each of these crimes results in misdemeanors or felonies for the participants. Each of these crimes can seem victimless without the proper knowledge concerning the corresponding legal procedures and potential punishments.
Many individuals receive criminal damage charges without knowing they were doing anything wrong. This situation leaves individuals confused about how to move forward.
The best solution for dealing with charges of criminal damage is for individuals to hire an experienced lawyer to navigate the legal process and make sure they explore each available option fully to minimize punishments and reduce charges. In the case of arson (especially arson of an occupied structure) it is imperative that you seek the counsel of an attorney right away.
Attorney Scott Stewart at the Stewart Law Group is one of the most talented criminal defense lawyers in Arizona. Gaining the support of his expertise will create the best possible outcome for any lawsuits involving accusations of criminal damage.