Criminal damage in Gilbert can come with hefty penalties and even amount to felony charges in some instances. As the name implies, criminal damage constitutes criminal charge which leaves a permeate stain on your record, unless you have your conviction set aside or expunged. The way that criminal damage is charged is on a sliding scale. The scale depends, in large part, on the amount of damage that is allegedly caused by the individual suspected of committing the crime of criminal damage.
Another important factor to understand when examining the law prohibiting criminal damage is the specific mental state of mind that the individual suspected of committing the crime had while they were committing the crime. The actual state of mind of the individual may be irrelevant depending on what the evidence shows, as state of mind can be implied based upon conduct. For purposes of criminal damage, the two relevant mental states are to have committed criminal damage “recklessly” or “intentionally.”
The term “recklessly” is defined in the Arizona criminal code as when an individual commits a criminal act and the “person is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur or that the circumstance exists.” In Arizona, the reasonable person standard is used to determine this, and voluntary intoxication is not a defense to this state of mind.
The term “intentionally” is also defined in Arizona’s criminal code. This term is more direct and includes “with respect to a result or to conduct described by a statute defining an offense, that a person’s objective is to cause that result or to engage in that conduct.”
Knowing these definitions familiarly, as well as the past interpretations of how they apply, can help mount a defense to criminal damage charges. Also, knowing how the cost of the damage allegedly incurred by the damage adds up can be useful in formulating a defense to criminal damage. For instance, in some cases the labor costs to repair the damage can be used in the calculations and in others it cannot. See below the scale that illustrates how the amount of the damages incurred relate to the charges sought by the government.
As demonstrated, criminal damage charges can be serious and leave a permeant mark on your life. However, depending on the facts of your case, a conviction may be avoidable, or charges could possibly be mitigated. If you find yourself facing charges for criminal damage, call our professionals any time, day or night, to set up a free consultation so that we can take a closer look at your specific situation and help you make an informed decision on best next step. Contact Rosenstein Law Group today to schedule your free initial consultation with one of our top-rated Gilbert criminal damage defense attorneys by filling out a contact form online here or by calling (480) 248-7666.