Criminal damage to property is quite possibly the most popular crime committed in Minnesota. It occurs when an individual knowingly destroys or damages property belonging to another person, intends to damage or destroy property, or is being reckless as to whether said property was to be destroyed. The crime is divided into the following four categories/degrees that vary in penalties:
- First-Degree – The most serious of the degrees of criminal damage, first-degree occurs when an individual damages the property of another’s as well as:
- The damage involved foreseeable risk of bodily harm
- The property belongs to a carrier and impairs the service to the public
- The damage causes the property value to be reduced by $1,000
- The defendant has been involved in prior criminal damage and the value of the property is reduced by $500
The penalty for first-degree criminal damage is a felony and carries a maximum of five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
- Second-Degree – The value of the damaged property is reduced by $500 to $1,000 and the act is committed due to the other’s sex, religion, race, sexual orientation, or disability. This is a felony and the penalty is a maximum of one year in prison and/or a fine of up to $3,000.
- Third-Degree – The most common property offense in Minnesota, third-degree criminal damage is when the damage is between $500 to $1,000 or the value was no higher than $500 and was bias-motivated. It is a gross misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $3,000.
- Fourth-Degree – This is when an individual damages another’s property and is not covered by the first three degrees. This is a misdemeanor and can result in fines and/or jail time.
No matter what the severity of the case may be, you have the right to defend yourself. Being convicted of criminal damage in Minnesota can have very serious repercussions to your daily life, so you want to have an experienced criminal defense attorney defending you and your case. Brian Karalus of Karalus Law has devoted his career to defending the rights of his clients, no matter what their situation may be. With his expert knowledge of the justice system and criminal law, as well as his devotion to his clients, Brian has received countless victories in the court of law. If you’re being accused of criminal damage, don’t wait for a second longer and contact Karalus Law to get your free initial consultation.