Criminal Damage to Property & Vandalism Charges in Wisconsin
Criminal damage to property could be a misdemeanor, but escalate to a felony if more than $2,500 in damage was done or if the damage was to a vehicle, highway, or railroad, among other possible circumstances. Felony level penalties could include up to 3.5 years in prison and/or up to a $10,000 fine.
OWI & Criminal Defense Attorney
When Does a Vandalism Misdemeanor Become a Felony?
When it comes to vandalism, there is a fine line between a misdemeanor and a felony, and a long list of possibilities could have you facing much worse charges than you expected.
In general, vandalism is charged as “criminal damage to property,” which is a Class A misdemeanor, carrying a penalty of up to 9 months imprisonment, a $10,000 fine, or both. However, if the particulars of your alleged crime upgrade the charge to a felony, the maximum prison sentence nearly quadruples to 3 years and 6 months.
So how, exactly, can vandalism increase from a misdemeanor to a felony?
Felony penalties for vandalism charges in Wisconsin:
- More than $2,500 worth of damage was done;
- Damage or graffiti to a vehicle, highway, or railroad that could cause injury or further damage;
- Damage to seeds or a plant grown for commercial purposes or research;
- Damage to a power plant;
- Damage to a church, cemetery, school, or culturally significant property;
- Damage to property on state-owned land or to a rock art site;
- Damage to the property of a judge, juror, or witness in connection with a case;
- Damage to the property of a department of revenue official;
- Damage to a machine with intent to steal money out of it.
Local Law Firm for Vandalism/Property Damage Charges
Due to the length and complexity of these statutes, it can be easy to find yourself having to mount a defense against unexpected charges. People have been imprisoned for a years for actions that started as a harmless prank. Don’t let that happen to you! At Grieve Law, our defense attorneys have had years of practice successfully defending a variety of people from charges that could have ruined their lives. Give us a call today so that we can give you guidance on how to fight vandalism charges in Wisconsin.