Criminal damage to property is a criminal crime of mischief, tampering, possession, use of substances that are detrimental to the good health of the environment, desecration, detachment, criminal littering, and habits that damage the environment in one way or the other. A person who has an intent to damage property may be found guilty of criminal mischief. Criminal damage is a threat to the safety of the public, which is punished seriously in Monroe and Ouachita Parish. This charge requires the legal help of a criminal damage lawyer.
Criminal damage to property can be in any form or degree. This crime covers different types of damage to properties. Criminal damage to property endangers the safety of the public, disrupt public utilities such as water, and obstruct movement. This crime is taken seriously and met with consequences according to the state law governing Monroe.
· Simple Criminal Damage to Property: This crime involves intentionally damaging someone else's property without a lawful excuse. Anyone caught recklessly destroying a property belonging to another person in Monroe and Ouachita Parish without their consent or reasonable ground shall be charged for Criminal Damage to Property.
· Criminal Mischief: This crime involves damaging property without the legal right to do so. This act includes criminal violations including obstructing a property owner from the use of their property, raising a false alarm to send people in disarray, and shooting a firearm. Also, anyone planning to damage a property violates the law and is deemed guilty of criminal damage to property. The punishment for this criminal act is dependent on the dollar amount of the property damaged.
· Criminal Tampering: This is the intentional interruption to public services or utility. When someone intentionally impairs or obstructs public utility without reasonable ground, they are charged and prosecuted for criminal damage to property. Any person found on another person's property with the intent to tamper or damage the structures or properties is an intruder and has violated the law. Such a person is charged for criminal damage to property.
· An example of criminal tapering is someone who interrupts the power supply or water supply in another person's home or property. If caught at this, you have to hire a competent criminal damage to property lawyer to stand in your defense.
· Use of substances that are detrimental to the environment: This is a violation that involves the use of offensive substances that can cause injury to another human. An example of such substances is a stink bomb. Bringing a stink bomb into another person's property without the owner's consent is unlawful. Interfering with another man's property with offensive or injurious substances while obstructing the use of the property is punishable under the law.
· Criminal Desecration: Destroying or defacing a tomb, monument, gravestone and another memorial is punishable. An act as simple as cutting a flower, tree, or decoration in a cemetery or a memorial can be punished as criminal desecration.
· Littering: Littering in certain places can earn you a court charge. Littering certain government structures can be considered a criminal offense. This can be more serious if the place is marked a preserved space. Littering after such an obvious sign can earn you a criminal charge. An example of such a place is a wildlife preserve.
If caught participating in any of the above-mentioned criminal violations in someone else's property, whether building or vehicle, you will be charged with criminal damage to property.
Oftentimes, criminal damage to property is punished as a misdemeanor but they are also punished as felonies depending on the severity of the crime and prior convictions.
· A misdemeanor is a crime that is less severe and is punished for not more than one-year imprisonment. For simple criminal damage, an offender is charged with a misdemeanor. Littering as a less serious violation is punished by a simple fine.
· For a felony, which may have been as a result of repeat offenses, the offender is made to serve prison time of more than one year or pay a fine, sometimes, they could be made to serve both penalties.
· The value of the property in dollar’s worth is usually used to determine the severity of punishment as well. Property damage valued at $1,000 is charged as a misdemeanor, requiring the offender to serve jail time of up to 6 months.
· Damage worth over $1,000 but less than $50, 000 is charged as a felony. The offender shall be imprisoned for 1 - 10 years and made to pay a fine of up to $10,000. The court may also demand that they pay for restitution to the property owner.
· Damage to school property, church or agricultural equipment valued at more than $100,000 is punishable by 15 years in prison and a fine payment of $25,000.
· For criminal damage in Monroe and Ouachita Parish, the offender is usually asked to pay monetary compensation to the victim.
The defense against criminal damage to property crimes is usually based on unique facts. The defendant has to communicate his mind to the criminal defense lawyer so that he can put up the best defense against the crime the defendant was charged for. It is possible to argue against the prosecutor that the defendant lacks the intent of damaging the property in question.
Fighting this case is based on circumstantial evidence which could take a toll on a defendant who did not commit the crime. However, confiding in an experienced defense attorney can make a difference.
Carl Barkemeyer is a criminal damage lawyer in Monroe. He listens to your case and examines the circumstances and evidence and draws out a defense strategy, which he will defend you aggressively in court. Carl Barkemeyer's experience speaks in the cases he handles, you can trust him this time too.