In Arizona criminal damage can take many forms. Some forms of criminal damage such as damaging a public utility or blocking livestock from water are quite rare. However, general criminal damage to property or criminal damage domestic violence are very common charges in Arizona and carry harsh consequences, if convicted. In order to avoid unnecessary punishment for criminal damage it is necessary to investigate all possible defenses and utilize the experience of an effective criminal damage lawyer.
In Arizona, a person commits criminal damage to property, if they recklessly:
Pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-1602, criminal damage is a misdemeanor if a person recklessly:
Pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-1602, felony criminal damage occurs if a person:
The punishment for criminal damage to property as a misdemeanor can range based on the facts of your case, the prosecuting agency, what store the items were stolen from and your judge. For the best evaluation of the penalties you are likely to face, contact an experienced criminal damage lawyer in Arizona.
SIDE NOTE: diversion or deferred prosecution agreements are common in many instances and allow for your case to be dismissed.
The maximum and minimum punishment that you can expect after a conviction for felony criminal damage depends on the type or felony for which you are convicted.
Criminal damage charges are often accompanied by an allegation of domestic violence. When a person is charged with a domestic violence offense, they will face all of the punishments of the underlying crime of criminal damage as well suffer additional consequences surrounding the domestic violence component.
These charges are often accompanied by charges of disorderly conduct or assault. When police are called to a domestic disturbance and one or more of the parties is unwilling to participate in the investigation, officers will often charge a person with criminal damage domestic violence if there is evidence that property was damaged during a domestic dispute. These charges can be very difficult for the State to substantiate and a positive defense outcome is likely when an experienced criminal damage lawyer is utilized.
Developing a solid defense strategy is paramount to getting your case dismissed or reduced. The defenses that you may want to raise will depend on the specific facts of your case. However, some of the more common defenses include:
Example. You are accused of graffiti on the wall of a private business. If the company agrees, you can simply pay money for the damage caused in exchange for the criminal case being dismissed. It is important to note, however, when you have been accused of a crime, you are generally forbidden from making contact with the victim (company). As such, misdemeanor compromises must be handled by an experienced criminal damage lawyer, judges or the victim advocate. Simply contacting the victim and asking to buy our way out of a crime may constitute witness tampering.
At Feldman and Royle, we understand that every case is different. We are a team of defense attorneys with experience handling both felony and misdemeanor criminal damage cases. We also have extensive experience litigating domestic violence cases as they pertain to criminal damage charges. Please contact us for a free consultation in order to further discuss the circumstances of your case and find out how we can help you.