Property damage is a criminal offense that may be charged as a felony or misdemeanor depending on the facts of the case. Anyone who is accused of the destruction of property should consult with an experienced Kansas City criminal defense lawyer right away. At The O'Connor Law Firm we know a conviction can result in fines, restitution, even loss of your freedom if sentenced to jail. You must take action immediately in an effort to protect your legal rights, freedom, and future.
Property damage can occur in any number of ways. For instance, a person could damage a window or door in an attempt to break in and commit burglary. Another scenario could be an angry boyfriend or girlfriend smashing the other one's windshield with a crowbar. Regardless of the severity of the alleged crime, the prosecutor must prove beyond a doubt that the damage did not already exist, and the defendant did in fact cause or inflict the damage.
Felony property damage occurs when a person inflicts damage that amounts to more than $750. This is generally charged as a class D felony, which means those found guilty will face penalties that include fines of up to $5,000 and/or a maximum of four years in prison. Individuals who intentionally damage property in an effort to defraud the insurance company may be charged with first-degree class D felony property damage.
Misdemeanor property damage is referred to as second-degree, and is typically charged as a class B misdemeanor which leaves those convicted facing a fine of up to $500 and/or a maximum of six months in jail. This charge usually applies in cases where the property damage is valued at less than $750.
In many cases the punishment is less severe for individuals who can pay for the damage incurred. Every case is different; as with other criminal charges, people are often wrongly accused.
While property damage is certainly not as serious a criminal charge as many other offenses, you could still find yourself facing jail/prison time, fines, restitution, and damage to your reputation and career if convicted. It is essential to consult with a skilled and qualified Kansas City criminal defense attorney before you speak with police or answer questions. At The O'Connor Law Firm we work diligently to protect our clients' legal rights and reach the best possible result. Contact us now for a free consultation at 816-842-1111.