Do You Need a Criminal Damage Defense in Tempe?

Criminal Damage can come in a wide variety of forms ranging in severity from misdemeanors to felonies. Crimes that fall into this category include:

  • Defacing another person’s property
  • Interfering with the property of another person so that the value is lessened or the function is impaired
  • Creating graffiti of any type on another person’s property without consent from the owner
  • Tampering with property of a public utility


The prosecution will only need to prove that the defendant caused the damage with minimal reckless intent.

Furthermore, an individual can be charged for criminal damage in a domestic violence case, providing the property in question can rightly be considered community property under the marriage laws of Arizona. This means that a person damaging his own personal property can be charged with criminal damage, if another person such as a spouse possessed an interest in that property.

As a matter of fact, even if the two people are not married but are living together, the same rules apply here as well, as long as the other person has a claim to the property in the home.


The penalty for the crime will depend on the value of the damaged property:

Class 2 Misdemeanor — Property damages are below $250. The penalties may amount up to $750 in fines plus restitution, 4 months’ jail time and 2 years of probation.

Class 1 Misdemeanor — Property damages are over $250 and below $1,000. The penalties may amount to $2500 in fines plus restitution, 6 months’ jail time and 3 years of probation.

Class 6 Felony — Property damages are over $1,000 and under $2,000. The penalties may amount to $150,000 in fines plus restitution, 2 years’ prison time and 3 years of probation.

Class 5 Felony — Property damages exceed $2,000 and are below $10,000, or the damage caused was to further the criminal purposes of a street gang or any other criminal syndicate. Penalties may amount to $150,000 in fines plus restitution, 2.5 years in prison and 3 years’ probation.

Class 4 Felony — Property damages are greater than $10,000, or the damages to a utility property are greater than $5,000, or if the damage to the public utility was intentional and such damage causes an imminent safety hazard to any other person. Penalties may amount to $150,000 in fines plus restitution, 3.75 years in prison and 4 years’ probation


Additionally, there exists a separate crime for “Aggravated Criminal Damage”. Aggravated criminal damage applies to damage to schools, cemeteries, places of religious worship, mortuaries, construction, agricultural or utility infrastructure. Penalties may amount to $150,000 in fines plus restitution, 8.75 years in prison and 5 years’ probation.

Individuals convicted of criminal damage with domestic violence face fines, restitution, probation, jail or prison time, and counseling.  This court-mandated counseling may continue for several months. The court may also restrict the individual from communicating with the victim for an extended period of time.

You can also be affected by a domestic violence conviction in family court. Visitations with a child could be restricted or custody rights could be lost. Additionally, you lose the right of possessing a firearm. Because of the nature of the offense, valuable job opportunities can be lost with a conviction for domestic violence.

If you find yourself being accused of a criminal damage crime, get in touch now with Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law. Your rights, freedom and future are in jeopardy. It is crucial that you speak with an aggressive and skilled criminal damage attorney. To protect you from such crimes, Robert will help you with the defense that is needed. When protecting your rights, the services that Robert A. Dodell provides are tailor made. You can directly contact Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law; this can be done via email or by calling 480-860-4321. Call now and receive a free initial consultation.