Criminal damaging is the act of intentionally causing damage to the property of another person without their consent.
While the charge may not seem like one that is very severe, it is one that can make it difficult to find a job, find a place to live, and it can make others have difficulty trusting you.
If this is a crime that you have been charged with, then you need a Minneapolis criminal defense lawyer by your side to defend you against the charges, whether they are legitimate to some degree or not.
TYPES OF PROPERTY DAMAGE
Criminal damaging is divided into four categories, depending upon whether there was bodily harm that occurred during the commission of the crime or whether property value was decreased because of the act. The third area looked at is whether the property belonged to a common carrier, impairing a public service, and the fourth looks at whether there was some kind of discrimination (racial, sexual, religious) involved in the action. The crime is then charged as one of four degrees.
DEGREES OF CRIMINAL DAMAGING
The four degrees of criminal damaging are as follows:
First Degree – There was a foreseeable and reasonable risk of bodily harm, the property belonged to a common carrier, the property value was reduced by $1,000, or the violator had a prior conviction and reduced the property value by $500 or more. This is a felony offense that can result in $10,000 in fines and 5 years in prison.
Second Degree – The amount of the property value is reduced between $500 and $1,000 and the act was motivated by religious, racial, or sexual prejudice. This is also a felony that results in $3,000 in fines and one year and one day in prison if convicted.
Third Degree – The property damage is between $500 and $1,000 or the property value was no more than $500 and was motivated by some kind of bias. This is a gross misdemeanor with a $3,000 fine and one year in jail.
Fourth Degree – This is a misdemeanor that includes criminal damage to property that is not covered under the first three degrees, but can still result in fines and jail time if convicted.
The judge will hand down any penalties that he or she sees necessary, such as restitution to the victim, community service, probation, and more. While criminal damaging may seem like a petty crime, there are factors that make it not so. Regardless, it is important to have a Minnesota criminal damaging lawyer representing you so that you can move on with your life, whether you’re guilty or innocent.
If you or a loved one has been charged with criminal damaging, you need a competent and aggressive criminal defense attorney to show the facts in the case and help you reach a positive outcome.