If you have been charged with Criminal Damage to Property in the greater St. Cloud area, it is very important to have an experienced property damage defense attorney help you through the process. There are four levels to this crime with each one depending on the value of the damage that was caused, whether or not you have had prior convictions for that crime, and whether or not injury to someone was a reasonable or foreseeable risk during the commission of the crime.
Here are the four levels of criminal property damage:
4th Degree: The lowest degree (Misdemeanor) and maximum penalty is 90 days jail, $1000.00 fine or both. It results when the damage amount is less than $500.00 and none of the other factors of higher degrees apply.
3rd Degree: A Gross Misdemeanor which has a maximum penalty of one year in jail, $3000.00 fine, or both. It results most commonly where the amount of damage caused is between $500.00 and $1000.00, but can also be charged in amounts less than $500.00 if there is some sort of “bias” in the motivation of committing the crime. This is a very subjective factor used by prosecutors, and you are best advised to have an experienced property damage defense attorney help you with it.
2nd Degree: A Felony with a maximum penalty of one year and one day in prison, a fine of $3000.00 or both. It applies where the damage caused is between $500.00 and $1000.00, but there is an allegation that the motivation behind committing the crime was some sort of racial, sexual, or religious prejudice. Again, this is a very subjective factor requiring the assistance of an experienced property damage defense attorney to help achieve the best result.
1st Degree: A serious Felony which can result in a prison term up to 5 years, a fine of $10,000.00, or both. It applies in several situations: (1) when the damage caused is more than $1000.00; (2) if the damage caused is greater than $500.00 and you have a prior conviction of either 3rd or 1st Degree Criminal Damage to Property; (3) the damage is knowingly caused to a public safety motor vehicle and caused a substantial interruption or impairment of safety to the public or a reasonable risk of bodily harm to another; (4) the damage is caused to a common carrier and the damage impaired the service of that common carrier; or (5) the damage caused a reasonably foreseeable risk of bodily harm to another. This level of charge absolutely requires that you have the assistance of experienced defense attorney counsel.
At Heller & Thyen, you are assured to be in good hands with experienced help. Our attorneys and team will help with all that is needed to aggressively work on your case. It is important to understand that the Judge in these cases has the ability to be flexible when it comes to sentencing. There is also the issue of restitution, which covers paying back a victim of the crime. There are many details involved that our defense attorneys understand to help reveal the important facts so that the best result can be achieved for you.
Contact the trustworthy criminal property damage attorneys in St. Cloud at Heller & Thyen, P.A. today to resolve your current situation.