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Aurora Criminal Damage to Property Defense Attorney

Have you been charged with Criminal Damage to Property?

Criminal Damage to Property is considered a very serious crime in Illinois. Illinois Laws are designed to protect people, their homes and personal property. Criminal Damage to Property can come in many different forms and will have varying consequences based on the severity of the offense. The penalties for different types of Property crimes are based on the dollar amount of damage caused and the type of property that was allegedly damaged. However, Criminal Damage to Government or State Supported Property will generally carry higher penalties, regardless of the value of the alleged government property that was damaged.

Generally speaking, Criminal Damage to Property is the knowing or reckless destruction of property, that belongs to someone else, without the permission of the owner of said property.

The applicable Illinois statute in Illinois is 720 ILCS 5/21-1 which states in part:

"A person commits an illegal act when he:

(a) knowingly damages any property of another; or

(b) recklessly by means of fire or explosive damages property of another; or

(c) knowingly starts a fire on the land of another; or

(d) knowingly injures a domestic animal of another, without his consent; or

(e) knowingly deposits on the land or in the building of another any stink bomb or any offensive smelling compound and thereby intends to interfere with the use by another of the land or building; or

(f) damages any property, other than as described in subsection (b) of Section 20‑1, with intent to defraud an insurer; or

(g) knowingly shoots a firearm at any portion of a railroad train."

When the charge of criminal damage to property exceeding a specified value is brought, the extent of the damage is an element of the offense to be resolved by the trier of fact as either exceeding or not exceeding the specified value."

Penalties for Criminal Damage to Property Crimes in Illinois:

A. Criminal Damage to Property where the value of the alleged damaged property is less than $300.00, is a Class A Misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail with fines and cost of $2,500.00 or both.

B. Criminal Damage to Property where the value of the alleged damage is more than $300.00 but less than $10,000.00, is a Class 4 Felony, which is punishable by 1 - 3 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections with fines and cost of $25,000.00 or both.

C. Criminal Damage to Property where the alleged damage is done to a school, place of worship or to farm equipment with a value of less than $300.00, is also a Class 4 Felony, which is punishable by 1 - 3 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections with fines and cost of $25,000.00 or both.

D. Criminal Damage to Property where the value of the alleged damage is more than $10,000.00 but less than $100,000.00, is a Class 3 Felony, which is punishable by 2 - 5 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections with fines and cost of $25,000.00 or both.

E. Criminal Damage to Property where the value of the alleged damage is done to a school, place of worship or to farm equipment with a value of more than $300.00 but less than $10,000.00, is also a Class 3 Felony, which is punishable by 1 - 3 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections with fines and cost of $25,000.00 or both.

F. Criminal Damage to Property where the value of the alleged damage is more than $10,000.00 but less than $100,000.00, is a Class 3 Felony, which is punishable by 2 - 5 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections with fines and cost of $25,000.00 or both.

G. Criminal Damage to Property where the value of the alleged damage is done to a school, place of worship or to farm equipment with a value of more than $10,000.00, is a Class 2 Felony, which is punishable by 3 - 7 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections with fines and cost of $25,000.00 or both.

H. Criminal Damage to Property where the value of the alleged damage is done to a school, place of worship or to farm equipment with a value of more than $100,000.00, is a Class 1 Felony, which is punishable by 4 - 15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections with fines and cost of $25,000.00 or both.

I. Criminal Damage to Government supported Property is a Class 4 felony when the alleged damage to property is valued at $500.00 or less. A Class 4 felony is punishable by up to 1 - 3 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections with fines and cost of $25,000.00 or both.

J. Criminal Damage to Government supported Property is a Class 3 Felony when the alleged damage to property is more than $500.00 but less than $10,000.00. A Class 3 felony is punishable by 2 - 5 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections with fines and cost of $25,000.00 or both.

As you can see, our Illinois legislature has prescribed varying penalties based on the type and value of the allegedly damaged property. Further, if you are found guilty of this offense, Prosecutors may ask for harsher sentencing based on the location of the alleged damage, and the facts and circumstances surrounding the damage, and your prior criminal history.

Because of the wide variety of penalties and consequences for the varying types of Criminal Damage cases, your sentences may also vary widely if you are found guilty. If you are charged with Felony Criminal Damage to Property, you may be sentenced by the Presiding Judge to a term in the Illinois Department of Corrections. If you are eligible for Probation, the Presiding Judge in your case can sentence you to a period of Probation, Counseling, Public Service Work, and may even require you to pay restitution to the alleged victim or property owner. Additionally, if you are not a citizen of the United States, a conviction for Felony Criminal Damage to Property can lead to your deportation from the United States.

Defenses to Criminal Damage to Property Offenses in Illinois

In order to prepare a defense to the charge of Criminal Damage to Property, an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney will analyze the evidence that the Prosecutor will use to prove their case. There will be certain types of evidence that will determine the strength of the Prosecution's case such as:

  1. Photographs or Video of the alleged damaged items.
  2. Photographs or Video of the location where the alleged damage took place.
  3. Written statements of the alleged victim.
  4. Police Reports of the Investigating Officers who arrived on scene..
  5. 911 recordings made at the time of the incident.
  6. Any written or verbal statements made by the accused.
  7. Any witness statements from individuals that are not from the alleged victim.
  8. Availability of Complaining Witnesses.
  9. Evidence of the value of the alleged damaged property.

In some instances, some counties offer a Diversion program, in which you may be required to perform community service work and pay all associated costs and fees in exchange for a dismissal of your Criminal Damage to Property charge. If this type of Diversion program is not available, an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney may be able to have your charges dismissed or reduced based on a lack of evidence. If trial is the only option, the Prosecutor needs to be able prove that you "knowingly or recklessly damaged the property of another, without their consent." In addition, if the complaining witness is not available to testify, your case may be dismissed, because you have an absolute right to confront your accuser. Finally, the Prosecutor has the ultimate burden of proving your case "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt," and must convince a Judge or a Jury that they have met that burden before you can be found guilty of Criminal Damage to Property.

Contact an Aurora Criminal Damage to Property Defense Attorney

Criminal Damage to Property is a very serious criminal offense, one that should not be taken lightly. The public policy behind the harsh sentences for Criminal Damage to Property, is to protect people's right to their property. A conviction for Criminal Damage to Property can also carry with it very serious consequences, and can irreparably damage your reputation and employment opportunities. I can provide you with advice on how to address your pending Criminal Damage to Property case and can provide you with a plan to protect your freedom and your future. I understand the value of your freedom and the importance of your reputation and I will use my knowledge and experience to secure the best possible results in your case.

To contact a Criminal Damage to Property Defense Attorney at the Law Offices of David Lee, Please call:

(630) 901-8700

The Law Offices of David Lee is available in Kane, Kendall, Dupage and Dekalb Counties

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