Virginia Destruction of Property Lawyers
Destruction of property is the act of vandalizing or otherwise defacing property. This is a criminal offense in Virginia, and can be a misdemeanor or a felony. Whether it is a felony charge or a misdemeanor relies heavily on the type of damage. Destruction of property may also involve domestic disputes, protests and antics after you’ve drunk too much.
Have no worry, because a good destruction of property lawyer can help challenge the case in court, and even negotiate a deal so that the charges may be reduced.
Destruction of Property Statute in Virginia
Destruction of property falls under Virginia Code 18.2-137. It is a crime to unlawfully do the following to property that you do not own:
- Remove without the intent to steal
- Break down
Damage done to property does not need to be severe. Removing the property can be against the law as well, even if the person at fault never meant to keep the property. Removing property with the intent to permanently keep it from the owner may be considered theft or larceny, dependent upon circumstances such as the type of property and value of said property.
Types of Property
The types of property that can be vandalized or otherwise destroyed, fall into two main categories. Personal property, or real property.
Examples of Personal Property
Personal property is property that can be moved and is subjected to ownership, barring land.
Examples of Real Property
Real property cannot be moved and is attached to land, so think structures.
Penalties for Destruction of Property
The penalties for destruction of property in Virginia depend on the damage that was done, and whether it was intentionally done. It also takes into account the value of the damaged property, as well as the value of the damage done.
If the offender did not mean to damage the property, the destruction of property falls under a Class 3 misdemeanor. This is a fine of $500 maximum. This type of charge includes recklessness that may have caused damage.
An Example: If you were throwing rocks at trees, and you missed the trees and hit a car busting out the window, you could be charged for destruction of property.
However, intentionally causing injury or destroying a piece of property that’s valued at less than $1,000 is a Class 1 misdemeanor. This misdemeanor has penalties of conviction in jail for at most 12 months, and a fine of $2,500 maximum.
If the property is intentionally damaged and it costs more than $1,000, it is a Class 6 misdemeanor and that comes with penalties of 1 to 5 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $2,500.
If you are charged with destruction of property, you want a lawyer that has experience to guide you through such trying times. You should reach out to a destruction of property lawyer in Virginia, such as the ones at the May Law LLP law firm for help with your case.