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.
Criminal Damage to Property & Vandalism Charges in Wisconsin
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, like OWI's and firearm possession. Give us a call today so that we can give you guidance on how to fight vandalism charges in Wisconsin.
If you have been charged with Criminal Damage to Property in Wisconsin, contact Grieve Law.
In Wisconsin, how long does a criminal damage to property charge stay on your record?
In Wisconsin, criminal damage to property becomes a felony if more than $2,500 in damage was done, and that charge could remain on your record for life.