Criminal Damage to Property
Aside from arson, criminal damage to property acts as a catch-all for property damage crimes in Minnesota. The offense is broken into four classifications and is charged based on the extent of the damage and the motivation behind the crime.
Being charged with criminal damage to property is no joke. A judge may have the discretion to punish you with only a fine, but that doesn’t mean they won’t sentence you to the maximum time behind bars. It’s vital you speak with a criminal defense attorney if you have been arrested or charged for causing damage to property.
Criminal Defense Attorney in Apple Valley
Retaining legal counsel is the best defense you can take to charges for property damage. James Blumberg at James Blumberg Law has over a decade of experience in criminal defense. He understands people make mistakes, which is why all of his clients are treated with dignity and respect.
Take the time to speak with James Blumberg Law. Call (952) 431-7758 to schedule a consultation. Mr. Blumberg defends clients in areas such as Dakota County, Ramsey County, Scott County and Washington County.
- First-Degree Criminal Damage to Property
- Second-Degree Criminal Damage to Property
- Third-Degree Criminal Damage to Property
- Fourth-Degree Criminal Damage to Property
- Additional Resources
First-Degree Criminal Damage to Property
First-degree criminal property damage is the most serious form of the offense. According to the Minnesota Statutes, you are guilty of criminal damage to property if you intentionally cause damage to physical property without the owner’s consent and do any of the following:
- The property damage caused a foreseeable risk of bodily harm
- Knowingly damaged a public safety vehicle (EX: police car, ambulance) and the damage impaired the vehicle
- The damage reduced the value of the property by more than $1,000
- The damage reduced the value of the property by more than $500, and you have been convicted of criminal property damage in the last three years.
Criminal damage to property is a felony crime in Minnesota. If convicted, you could spend up to five years in prison, pay a fine of up to $10,000 or be sentenced to both time behind bars and a fine.
Second-Degree Criminal Damage to Property
According to recent data from the Department of Justice, hate crimes saw a 6% increase in 2017. Minnesota is unique when it comes to hate crimes. Instead of having a single statute dedicated to the offense, the Minnesota Statutes has various laws that enhance penalties for crimes motivated by hate or bias.
Criminal Damage to Property in the second degree is one of those crimes. You will be charged with the offense if you cause damage to another’s property based on the following:
- Sexual orientation
- National origin
Criminal damage to property in the second degree is a felony punishable by up to a year of imprisonment, a fine of no more than $3,000 or both incarceration and a fine.
Third-Degree Criminal Damage to Property
Like the previous offense, criminal damage to property in the third degree is motivated by bias. What sets the two classifications apart is the extent of the damage. You can face charges for the offense if the damage you caused reduced the value of the property by more than $500 but less than $1,000.
You can also be charged with the crime in the third-degree if you knowingly damaged a public safety motor vehicle. Unlike criminal damage of property in the first degree, the vehicle does not have to be damaged to the point its functions are impaired. However, the damage must have reduced the value of the vehicle by between $500 and $1,000.
Criminal damage to property in the third degree is a gross misdemeanor. If convicted, you could spend up to a year behind bars, be required to pay a fine costing up to $3,000 or both a fine and jail time.
Fourth-Degree Criminal Damage to Property
Causing any damage to property can still result in charges. According to the Minnesota Statutes, causing less than $500 in damage to property can land you in handcuffs for criminal damage to property in the fourth degree. The crime is only a misdemeanor, but that doesn’t mean you won’t spend time in jail.
If the court finds you guilty, you could spend up to 90 days behind bars, have to pay a fine costing up to $1,000 or a combination of both jail time and fines.
Damage to Property | Minnesota Statutes – Read through the section of the state statutes governing property damage to learn more about the offense. By following the link, you can read up on each classification of the crime and find out what the court will do if you committed the offense over six months. The statute can be read on the official site of the Minnesota Legislature.
Hate Crime Statistics | U.S. Department of Justice – The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program collected data on hate crimes in the United States. Visit the Department of Justice’s website to find the demographics of offenders, where the crime occurred the most and which bias was the most popular target.
Criminal Defense Lawyer in Dakota County, MN
Criminal damage to property is an offense with the potential to carry life-long consequences. Do not take the chance and represent yourself. State prosecutors are highly-trained professionals who will do just about anything to get a conviction. James Blumberg is a former prosecutor who knows how these individuals work. He will put this experience to work for you and fight to have the charges reduced or dropped.
Call (952) 431-7758 to schedule a time to speak with James Blumberg Law. We are based in Apple Valley but assist clients in areas such as Saint Paul, Shakopee and Stillwater.