Criminal damage to property can be committed if an individual intentionally causes damage to property that belongs to someone else without the owner giving their consent. Under Minnesota law, you can be charged with one of four degrees of property damage and the consequences can be serious, although the crime does not seem like one that would be serious.
If you have been accused of criminal damage to property, contact a highly experienced and skilled St. Paul property damage attorney to immediately help you in your case. The sooner you involve an attorney, the stronger your case will be.
Understanding The Charges
Property damage can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on various factors within the case, such as the property value or if the damage occurred because of bias. If someone damages the property of another person due to their gender, race, religion, age, or sexual orientation, then the charges can be escalated. Here are the classifications for criminal damage to property.
- First degree property damage – The damage that is caused had a foreseeable risk of bodily harm, the property belonged to a common carrier and can no longer be used, the amount of the damage is greater than $1,000 or the property’s value was over $500, or the individual has been previously convicted of criminal damage to property within the preceding 3 years.
- Second degree property damage – The property was damaged due to bias based on someone’s race, religion, gender, age, or sexual preference.
- Third degree property damage – The dollar amount of the damage is over $500 but does not exceed $1,000.
- Fourth degree property damage – The dollar amount of the damage is less than $500.
Charges can come about easily due to it being so easy to inflict $500 to $1,000 on a piece of property, especially if that property is destroyed in the act.
Property Damage Consequences
The penalties that are handed down by a judge after conviction depends on what the judge feels is necessary, such as community service, restitution paid to the victim, probation, jail time, fines, anger management counseling, and much more. While criminal damage to property may seem like a small crime, there are certain elements to it that make that not so. This is why you need a Minneapolis property damage lawyer working with you as early in the case as possible. Doing so will help secure the best possible outcome.
Contact a Minneapolis – St. Paul Property Damage Lawyer
Property damage may not seem like a serious crime, but it is one that can compromise the rest of your life, as it causes you to have a criminal record if convicted. If you have been accused of causing damage to someone’s property, having an experienced attorney working by your side can make a significant difference in your case. To learn about your options and rights, call the Law Office of Mark Herman 24/7 at 612-382-4545 for a free consultation.