Phoenix Vandalism Defense 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.
The following actions 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.
Common Examples of Vandalism
Vandalism can encompass a wide range of acts. Essentially, any act that damages another person's property without their permission can be charged as vandalism.
Some common acts of vandalism include:
- Slashing someone's tires
- Keying someone's car
- Egging someone's home or car
- Spray paint on a property
- Breaking windows
- Damaging street signs
- Kicking or throwing someone's property around
Even simple pranks like TP'ing a home or egging someone's vehicle can land you in trouble with the law. If you are being accused of vandalism, hire an attorney immediately to protect your rights.
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.
In some cases, 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. Hate crimes are charged if law enforcement has reasonable cause to believe that the intent behind the vandalism was motivated by hate, bias, etc. Additionally, hate crimes are subject to strict prosecution and penalties.
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.
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