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Criminal Damage to Property Attorneys

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Criminal damage to property in Minnesota is a felony, gross misdemeanor, or misdemeanor, depending on the nature of the circumstances and amount of damage that occurred. Any conviction for this type of crime not only has serious criminal consequences, including prison or jail time, but also significant collateral consequences, such as the possibility of losing employment or professional licenses. You need a strong criminal damage to property attorney to fight for you.

There are four-degrees of crimes, with the most serious being the first-degree level.

First Degree Criminal Damage to Property – Whoever intentionally causes damage to someone’s property without their consent under the following circumstances faces a maximum of five years in prison and/or a fine of $10,000:

  1. The damage to the property caused a reasonably foreseeable risk of bodily harm;
  2. The property damaged was a public safety vehicle and it impaired its ability to operate;
  3. The property damaged belongs to a common carrier;
  4. The property damage exceeds $1,000 in the cost of repair or replacement, which can be aggregated over a six-month period; or
  5. The damage to the property reduces its value by more than $500 as measured by the cost of repair and replacement and the defendant has a prior offense within the past three years.

Second Degree Criminal Damage to Property – The damage to the property is valued at $500-1,000 and the damage was done because of the property owner’s race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin. It is a gross misdemeanor level of offense, with a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $3,000 fine.

Third Degree Criminal Damage to Property – The damage to property is valued at $500-1,000; or the property damage value is $500 or less and the property was damaged because of the property owner’s race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin. It is a gross misdemeanor level offense.

Fourth Degree Criminal Damage to Property – The damage to property is valued at less than $500. It is a misdemeanor level offense, meaning it is a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

In addition to the possible prison or jail time, and the fine, a court will likely mandate restitution to be paid to any alleged victim to make them whole for the damaged property.

With so much at stake, it is imperative to get a knowledgeable and experienced criminal damage to property attorney to counsel you through the case. The State will do whatever it can to get a conviction so that it can get restitution for the complaining party. It takes a thoughtful and strategic approach to know how to fight these complicated cases.

 



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