Dunwoody Property Damage Lawyer
Criminal damage to property sounds like a minor offense, but Georgia takes property crimes extremely seriously, and a conviction for criminal damage to property in some cases could result in a felony. Have you or someone you know been accused of criminally damaging property in the Georgia? If so, you need the experienced Dunwoody property damage lawyers at Hawkins Spizman on the case. Call or contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.
Degrees of Criminal Property Damage
Criminal damage to property is the most common form of property damage, yet conviction comes with serious penalties that can haunt a person for the rest of their life. This crime is broken down into two degrees: first and second degree. First degree criminal property damage is the more serious offense and is defined under Georgia law as knowingly and without authority interfering with another person’s property in a way that endangers human life, or if by use of force or violence interferes with the operation of any public communication, utility, or transportation system. Penalties for first degree criminal property damage include a felony record and a prison sentence between one and ten years.
Second degree criminal property damage is the less serious property damage crime and is defined as the intentional damage to another person’s property that exceeds $500, or the reckless or intentional property of another person through the use of fire or explosives. Penalties for second degree criminal property damage include a felony criminal record and a prison sentence between one to five years.
Other Types of Criminal Property Damage Crimes
In addition to first and second degree criminal property damage, a person can also be charged with other types of property damage crimes in Georgia. Some of the most common alleged offenses include interference with government property and damaging, injuring, or interfering with a public utility company. Both are misdemeanor offenses that, if convicted, come with penalties that include fines and up to one year in jail. Smash and grab burglaries are another common criminal property damage offense, but it is considered a felony and carries a prison sentence between two and twenty years for a first offense in addition to fines of up to $100,000.
You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney
Conviction for a criminal property damage crime can impact a person for the rest of their life. In addition to the loss of time behind bars, these offenses show up on any background check for jobs, school, and housing for the rest of a person’s life. These crimes also often involve restitution, which can put a person in debt for years trying to repay their fines, fees, restitution, and other costs associated with the offense and subsequent legal process. To learn more about how an experienced criminal defense attorney can help in your case, call or contact our office now.
Call or Contact Hawkins Spizman
Accusations of criminal property damage should not be taken lightly, and at Hawkins Spizman in Dunwoody, our team is prepared to advocate for your defense. Call or contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.