Have You Been Arrested or Charged for Property Damage Crimes in the St. Louis Area? With Over 20+ Years of Experience Practicing Criminal Defense, W. Scott Rose Will Work Tirelessly & Aggressively to Defend You in the Court of Law.
When an individual intentionally or knowingly causes damages to another person’s property, it can quickly escalate into a misdemeanor or felony charge for the accused. Property damage crimes involve property being destroyed, including homes, buildings, motor vehicles, private, and public property. In St. Louis, criminal charges for property damage have serious consequences.
If you are accused of property damage you can be facing hefty fines, jail time, and a life-long criminal record. These are penalties that can severely affect you, your family, and most importantly, your freedom. You need a skilled St. Louis property damage attorney that will offer the undivided attention that your case needs. Rose Legal Services exclusively handles St. Louis criminal defense matters including assault, theft, and weapon charges. Stay calm, and allow our attorneys to build the best possible case for you — Get started now with a free consultation.
Types of Property Damage Charges
The state of Missouri will usually identify the crime as either vandalism, arson, tampering, or property damage. Courts will address the severity of each crime by applying one of two degrees — A first degree (felony) or a second degree (misdemeanor). Although penalties can vary greatly, they are typically based on the amount of tampering or damage to property incurred.
- First Degree – An individual knowingly causes damage to another person’s property or vehicle. Damages are over $750, or damages were caused in an attempt to defraud an insurer. This also applies to intentional tampering with property.
- Second Degree – The monetary amount applied to the damages can be the deciding factor between first and second-degree charges. Even if the accused knowingly caused the damage, if there is no dollar amount, the charge will likely become a misdemeanor. In the case of tampering, it would have to be determined that it was unintentional.
DETERMINING PENALTIES FOR PROPERTY DAMAGE CRIMES IN ST. LOUIS
Property damage charges are based on a number of factors in St. Louis, including:
- Type of property (e.g., home, car, personal item)
- The severity of damage (e.g., broken window, arson)
- Monetary value of the damage
- Negligent or intentional property damage
- Whether the property damage occurred during the commission of another crime, such as burglary
- Whether the property damage was motivated by racial or ethnic animus, also known as a “hate crime”
What To Do After Being Charged With Property Damage In St. Louis
If you’ve been charged with a property damage crime, your next phone call should be to an experienced St. Louis Property Damage Attorney. They will immediately get to work on building an effective representation for you while providing you with sound advice to help you move forward in the best way possible. Whether you decide to plead innocent or guilty, it’s important to find out ALL of your options… before your trial.
Intentional Property Damage Crimes
An important factor in determining the charges for any crime… is the level of intent. Did the accused do this on purpose? Were they aware of the repercussions of their actions? — Your answers will have a serious impact on your case. If accused of intentional property damage, you can be facing expensive fines, jail time, and a criminal record that lasts a lifetime. Here are some of the most common intentional property damage crimes:
- Vandalism – When an individual destroys or damages someone‘s property without consent. This includes buildings, vehicles, websites, public spaces, or facilities, and more.
- Arson – Arson is when an offender intentionally burns a property such as a building, residence, or motor vehicle. Because arson has the potential to cause injuries or death, it is immediately classified as a felony.
- Tampering – This can occur when driving another person’s vehicle without permission, tampering with safety equipment, causing a public service interruption, and more. “Damage” does not necessarily have to incur.
It is important that you immediately hire a property damage attorney