The media often portrays graffiti as artsy paint jobs on the sides of buildings. However, vandalism and criminal damage charges threaten the future of anyone facing them. Charges may result in convictions ranging from class 2 misdemeanors to class 4 felonies.
It is wise for anyone with allegations of criminal damage in Arizona to research the topic.
Vandalism by the numbers
According to the US Department of Justice, records show over 170,000 arrests in 2020 relating to vandalism. Vandalism is where people do something to a property without the owner’s permission in a damaging way.
It includes defacing property with graffiti, stickers or carving. However, it may also mean breaking a building’s windows, slashing a car’s tires or knocking down street signs. In Arizona, a person also commits criminal damage by parking a vehicle in a way that deprives livestock of available water.
According to Arizona statutes, criminal damage charges may differ depending on the circumstance. Reckless damages to a property in an amount of more than $10,000 is a Class 4 felony that risks fines and prison time between one and three years. Vandalism that results in damage up to $1,000 is a misdemeanor that still impacts peoples’ lives if convicted.
Spending time in a holding cell after a vandalism arrest affects careers and futures. Even the allegations alone may affect a person’s reputation. Convictions affect the kinds of jobs people can apply for and even licenses or housing. It is important for anyone facing these charges to lean on their resources and information to navigate this sensitive time.