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Have you been charged with Criminal Damage to Property?


The most simple act of defiance can cost you. Many people commit acts that harm or damage property during a heated argument as a kind of "safety valve" so that they don't harm a person, others damage property not knowing that it is against the law. Sometimes the police arrest the wrong person or issue a citation to a completely innocent party. Whatever the reason an item gets damaged it doesn't mean that someone deserves a criminal record. Criminal damage cases run the gambit from someone breaking a dish during an argument, to keying a car, all the way to hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of losses. If you find yourself at anywhere on that spectrum you need an attorney with experience handling criminal damage cases.


What is the law on Criminal Damage to Property?


K.S.A. 21-5813 is the Kansas Statute on Criminal Damage to Property. Remember this is the state law, if you find yourself charged in a city court the law may be different. Consult with your criminal defense lawyer to determine which court you are in and what law applies to your specific set of facts.

(a) Criminal damage to property is by means other than by fire or explosive:
(1) Knowingly damaging, destroying, defacing or substantially impairing the use of any property in which another has an interest without the consent of such other person; or
(2) damaging, destroying, defacing or substantially impairing the use of any property with intent to injure or defraud an insurer or lienholder.

(b) Criminal damage to property if the property:
(1) Is damaged to the extent of $25,000 or more is a severity level 7, nonperson felony;
(2) is damaged to the extent of at least $1,000 but less than $25,000 is a severity level 9, nonperson felony; and
(3) damaged is of the value of less than $1,000 or is of the value of $1,000 or more and is damaged to the extent of less than $1,000 is a class B nonperson misdemeanor.


How much trouble can come out of a Criminal Damage case?


A person accused of a criminal damage to property offense can vary dramatically in how much trouble they are in. It largely depends on how much criminal history that person has, the dollar amount or cost of the alleged damage and lastly what jurisdiction or court that charge was filed. There is no such thing as a "no big deal" criminal damage case. The negative consequences of having a criminal record are far reaching and highly detrimental. That being said, a criminal damage case could result in a fine and/or probation all the way up to a lengthy prison term. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys can evaluate your case and give you an accurate analysis on your first meeting.


What if it was your property that was damaged?


This happens all the time. A husband and wife will get into an argument and things will get out of hand. Someone will get mad and throw something like a telephone or a dish . The other party will get frightened and call the police. The police will come out and ask the offending party if they damaged the property and the offending party will say, "sure, but its my phone or dish." Then the police will arrest them. In Kansas, the state recognizes that the property is "marital property" and that each individual in the marriage has an individual property interest in the phone or dish. The offending party may own the property in every since of the word and still end up with a criminal charge for damaging it.


What do you do now?


Just because you are charged with the crime of criminal damage to property does not mean that you are guilty of will be convicted. At the outset you need to consult with a criminal defense lawyer with experience handling your type of case. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can evaluate the evidence in your case and put you in the best position for success going forward as well as guide you through the entire process.

Call (913) 451-9500 for a free consultation with Attorney Brandan Davies.




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