Vandalism

Phoenix Vandalism Attorney

Arrested for a Property Crime in Phoenix, AZ?

Arizona vandalism laws can be found in the Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-1602. According to this section of the penal code, it is illegal to deface or damage another person's property. There are a few different actions that can warrant an arrest for vandalism:

  • Defacing or damaging property
  • Tampering with property to impair its function/value
  • Drawing or inscribing slogans, signs, words or other types of symbols on public or private buildings. This crime is commonly known as graffiti.

If you have been arrested for vandalism, you could face either felony or misdemeanor charges depending on the details of your arrest. It is a myth that crimes of vandalism are not serious, so if you or someone you know has been arrested, then please be sure to get in touch with a lawyer from our firm. At Knowles Law Firm, PLC, we can fight aggressively on your behalf.

Property Crime Rates in Phoenix, Arizona

One a scale of 1 to 100, Phoenix is rated 10 with 100 being the safest. This number is based off of a compilation of violent and property crimes that take place in the city of Phoenix every year. Most recent arrest statistics indicate that there were more than 64,000 property crimes in Phoenix in one year. Property crimes such as vandalism are much higher than the national average in the Phoenix metropolitan area. With high crime statistics comes a higher police presence. Law enforcement is cracking down on vandalism in this city, as in other heavily-populated urban areas.

Vandalism as a Hate Crime

There are many different types of vandalism. Not only in substance, but in intent behind the act. Sometimes, vandalism is seen as malicious vandalism. In these cases, an individual is alleged of causing damage to another person's property intentionally as an outlet for their rage or frustration. Other times, vandalism is acquisitive, meaning that it is simply a petty crime.

In some cases, however, vandalism can be charged as a hate crime. Vandalizing because of ideological differences, such as vandalizing a church, can be seen as a hate crime. These types of crimes are rising in frequency too, according to statistics. From 2009 to 2010, the number of racially-motivated hate crimes in the city of Phoenix rose 40 percent. This is a massive upswing that actually reflects a national upswing in this type of crime. Hate crimes are charged if law enforcement has reasonable cause to believe that the intent behind the vandalism was motivated by hate, bias, etc.

Penalties for Vandalism

Your penalties will differ depending on the type of vandalism you were charged with. Common penalties derived from § 13-1602 of the Arizona Statutes are listed below:

  • Class 4 felony - defendants can face class 4 felony charges is they damage property values at $10,000 or more if they impair any utility or cause $5,000 or more in damage to a utility.
  • Class 5 felony - class 5 felony charges can result is a defendant damages property valued at $2,000 to $10,000.
  • Class 6 felony - a person can face class 6 felony charges if they damage property valued between $1,000 and $2,000.
  • Class 1 misdemeanor - applies to cases where property damages is values at more than $250 but less than $1,000. All other cases of criminal damage are prosecuted as class 2 misdemeanors.

If you have been arrested for vandalism or a related property crime, please do not hesitate to contact Knowles Law Firm, PLC. Our firm will fight aggressively for the accused. Take the first step and secure skilled defense from our firm. Free consultations are available!

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