What is Aggravated Criminal Damage in Arizona, A.R.S. 13-1604?
Aggravated criminal damage in Arizona, A.R.S. 13-1604, occurs when a person intentionally or recklessly and without permission of the owner does any of the following:
- Defacing, damaging or in any way changing the appearance of any building, structure, personal property or place used for worship or any religious purpose.
- Defacing or damaging any building or structure or place used as a school or as an educational facility.
- Defacing, damaging or tampering with any cemetery, mortuary or personal property of the cemetery or mortuary or other facility used for the purpose of burial or memorializing the dead.
- Defacing, damaging or tampering with any utility or agricultural infrastructure or property, construction site or existing structure for the purpose of obtaining of nonferrous metals.
Examples of violating this law could be the knocking over of tombstones in a cemetery, graffiti on a church or school, or the taking of copper wire from a utility.
What are the Penalties for Aggravated Criminal Damage in Arizona, A.R.S. 13-1604
The penalty for aggravated criminal damage in Arizona can range from a class 3 felony to a class 6 felony, and depends on the specific violation of the law. Intentionally or recklessly damaging or defacing property of another will result in the following penalty:
- Damage to a utility, construction site or for the obtaining of nonferrous metals in the amount of $10,000 or more is a class 3.
- Damage to a building, structure, personal property, place of worship, school, mortuary or cemetery is a class 4 felony.
- Damage to a utility, construction site or for the obtaining of nonferrous metals in an amount of $1,500 to $10,000 is a class 4 felony.
- Damage to a building, structure, personal property, place of worship, school mortuary or cemetery in an amount of $1,500 to $10,000 is a class 5 felony.
- In all other cases aggravated criminal damage for damage to a utility, construction site or for obtaining nonferrous metals is a class 5 felony.
- In all other cases aggravated criminal damage for damage to a building, structure, personal property, place of worship, school, mortuary or cemetery is a class 6 felony.
Defenses to a Crime of Aggravated Criminal Damage in Arizona, A.R.S. 13-1604
The potential for a defense to a charge of aggravated criminal damages in Arizona, A.R.S. 13-1604, depends on the circumstances of the crime charged. A potential defense to the charge of aggravated criminal damage is mistaken identity. This defense is used when the accused is identified by a third party as the perpetrator of the crime, and the identification is mistaken.
Another defense may be based on the value of the property damaged. For example, the government may claim the value of the damage is more than $1,500 making the offense a class 5 felony, and the defense is that the value of the damage is only $1,200 making the offense a lesser class 6 felony.
The defense of mere presence is available to a third party who is merely at the scene of the crime but takes no part in the crime whatsoever.
It is also possible to argue that any damage caused to property was not intentional or was not the result of recklessness as required by the statute, but may be mere negligence.
There may be other defenses to the charge of aggravated criminal damage in Arizona, A.R.S. 13-1603, such as:
- Mistaken identity
- Mere presence
- Insufficiency of state's evidence
Brian Di Pietro Law, PLLC Arizona Experienced Tough Aggressive Property Damage Lawyer for Aggravated Criminal Damage Charge
Contact Brian Di Pietro Law, PLLC today 623-242-2655, for a free case evaluation about your pending property damage case involving aggravated criminal damage in Arizona. Being charged with a felony is a serious matter and can have grave consequences should a person be convicted, it is very important that a person obtain the best attorney possible for their defense, that is Arizona criminal defense attorney Brian Di Pietro. With his 38 years of personal experience in criminal law, Mr. Di Pietro has the best credentials to properly represent a person charged with a felony. Those 38 years of criminal defense experience has resulted in the toughness and knowledge necessary to protect the constitution rights of the accused.