Criminal Damage to Property: Comprehensive Explanation of the Charge and Defenses in Wisconsin
In Wisconsin, criminal damage to property is usually a Class A misdemeanor, but penalties reach Class I felony (up to a $10,000 fine and/or 3.5 years in prison) under certain conditions, such as damage to a highway, bridge, state-owned land or other circumstances outlined in (Wis. Stat. § 943.01).
Understanding Criminal Damage to Property in Wisconsin
Under Wisconsin law, criminal damage to property is not always a felony. Many charges are misdemeanors impacting your permanent record. Before settling for a fee-to-plea™ lawyer, contact Dahlberg Law Group for a free case assessment.
Penalties for Criminal Damage to Property in Wisconsin
Criminal Damage to Property can result in two penalties in Wisconsin: Misdemeanor and Felony charges. A basic offense of Criminal Damage to Property, such as graffiti, is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 9 months jail, a $10,000 fine, or both.
The penalty increases to a Class I felony punishable by up to 3 years 6 months imprisonment, a $10,000 fine, or both, in the following situations:
- The property damaged is a vehicle or highway and the damage is likely to cause injury to a person or further property damage.
- The property damaged belongs to a public utility or common carrier and the damage is likely to impair the services of the public utility or common carrier.
- The property damaged belongs to a person who is or was a grand or petit juror and the damage was caused by reason of any verdict or indictment assented to by the owner.
- The property damaged is on state-owned land and is listed on the registry of prominent features.
- The total property damaged is reduced in value by more than $2,500.
- The property damaged is a rock art site listed on the national register of historic places in Wisconsin.
- The property damaged is plant material used in research.
- The property damaged is a machine operated by the insertion of coins, currency, or debit or credit cards.
It is a Class H Felony punishable by up to 6 years imprisonment, a $10,000 fine, or both to damage property owned, leased, or operated by an energy provider if committed with the intent to cause substantial interruption or impairment of any service or good from the energy provider.
Remember, though: You Are Only Guilty If You Are Convicted.
Reduce or Dismiss Wisconsin Criminal Damage to Property Charges
If you are given felony or misdemeanor criminal damage to property charges, it is important to contact a skilled criminal defense lawyer. The defense attorneys at Dahlberg Law Group know what issues to look for on your case and will skillfully litigate these issues to get you the best possible outcome. Attorneys at Dahlberg Law Group have a history of successfully reducing or dismissing charges for their clients.
Could you be facing FELONY charges? Depending on the severity of the crime, you could be facing some serious jail time and heavy fines. The first step to lessening the penalties being pressed against you is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney that knows their way around the legal system.
Common property damage charges that result in felony charges:
- Destruction of power lines, power service equipment, or other property critical to electricity distribution – Destruction of power lines, power service equipment, or any other property critical to electricity distribution is classified as a Class H felony in Wisconsin. This type of charge will land you up to 6 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
- Destruction of property worth more than $2,500 or certain types of property (church or a revenue office) – If you’re charged with a Class I felony in Wisconsin for the destruction of property worth more than $2,500 you could be facing up to 3.5 years in state prison or fines up to $10,000.
- If you have been charged with Criminal Damage to Property, contact Dahlberg Law Group for a free initial consultation.
IN WISCONSIN, HOW LONG DOES A CRIMINAL DAMAGE TO PROPERTY CHARGE STAY ON YOUR RECORD? On top of the potential prison term of 10 years or a fine reaching $25,000, a felony-level criminal damage to property in Wisconsin would be listed on your record permanently unless a narrow set of circumstances were met.
HOW TO REDUCE FELONY PENALTIES FOR CRIMINAL PROPERTY DAMAGE
Being charged with a felony for criminal property damage is a serious matter. Exercising your right to an attorney is one of the most beneficial things you can do if you’re faced with felony charges for property damage. Even if you’re facing a misdemeanor instead of a felony, you need to have qualified legal counsel to reduce potential legal penalties as much as possible.
Meet Attorney King Tse
King Tse is known for his passionate defense of the criminally accused. Well-versed in criminal penalties, King Tse knows how to get the state to drop or reduce charges. King Tse is a wise choice for legal representation. If you want an attorney who has a track record of negotiating felonies down to misdemeanors or less, give King Tse a call.
Other law firms will be eager to take your money to represent you in court, but you can only count on Dahlberg Law Group for the kind of representation that will try to shorten your time behind bars and reduce your criminal penalties. The life-changing effects of a felony conviction aren’t worth the money you’ll save on subpar legal representation. You need an attorney who excels in criminal defense and will fight to get your charges reduced.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does criminal property damage mean in Wisconsin?
In Wisconsin, Criminal Damage to Property is defined as an intentional act involving damage to any physical property of another individual without the consent of that person. In other words, it’s intentionally doing something to damage someone’s property without their permission.
What are the Penalties of Criminal Damage to Property in Wisconsin?
In many instances, criminal damage to property is regarded as a Class A misdemeanor punishable by about nine months in prison with a maximum fine of up to $10,000.
In other instances, however, criminal damage to property in Wisconsin may be considered a felony, such as when:
- It involves damage that reduces the value of the property by more than $2,500.
- The damage was inflicted to a thoroughfare (highway, road, or other public way) where physical injury or further property damage may be likely.
- The damage was done with an intention to disrupt a public utility such as water, gas, or power.
- An individual intentionally inflicts or threatens to cause damage to the property of a judge or his or her family knowing that the property belongs to a judge or member of the judge’s family.
Can I Cause Criminal Damage to My Own Property?
Yes, strangely enough, under Wisconsin damage to property laws, an individual can also be convicted of criminally damaging their own property.
Under this scenario, a married couple is considered a part-owner of one-half of the home or property belonging to both persons involved in the marital situation.
This means that when one person damages a jointly-owned property, they are considered to be damaging the property of their spouse since that spouse has ownership interest in the said property as well.
Scenarios like these make damage to property offenses a complex issue requiring the assistance of a skilled Madison criminal defense attorney. Contact Attorney King Tse today for a free consultation at (262) 677-8999.
Protect your rights and future. Contact lawyers at Dahlberg Law Group for expert legal defense.