Criminal Damage to Property is considered a property crime and can range in penalties and severity. Additionally, the state can charge it as a domestic violence crime if the facts support it. A criminal damage to property charge can have serious consequences if you are convicted. Whether this is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony will depend on the circumstances and facts of your case. Occasionally, an aggressive criminal defense attorney can argue for a forfeiture charge and remove any criminal charges altogether. Criminal Damage to Property is defined under Wis. Stat. 943.01. Anyone who intentionally causes damage to the physical property of another person without the consent of that person may be guilty of criminal damage.

Criminal Damage to Property Attorneys in Madison, WI

Anderson & O'Connell, S.C. have represented many individuals charge with criminal damage to property across Southern Wisconsin. Our attorneys know the courts and the law. We can help guide you through the process and defend against these charges. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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What the State must prove to convict you of Criminal Damage to Property

The state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt all of the following elements in order to convict you. Those elements are as follows:

  1. That you caused damage to physical property;
  2. you intentionally caused that damage;
  3. the property you damaged belonged to another person;
  4. you caused the damage without the consent of the owner of the property; and
  5. you knew the property in question belonged to another person and that person did not consent to the damage.

Criminal damage to property includes anything from defacement to total destruction. In order to "intentionally" damage the property you must have had the mental purpose to damage the property. Or alternatively if you were aware that your conduct was practically certain to cause that result.

Felony Criminal Damage to Property

Felony criminal damage to property can be charged if the damage to the property results in a loss of value more than $2,500. Additionally, if any of the following facts or circumstances are alleged a felony may be charged:

  1. The damage is to a vehicle or highway and is of a kind which is likely to cause injury to a person or further property damage;
  2. the property belongs to a public utility or common carrier and the damage is of the kind which is likely to impair the services of the public utility or common carrier;
  3. the property belongs to a person who is, or was, a juror and the damage was caused because of any verdict or indictment which the owner was involved in deciding;
  4. the property is on certain state-owned land and is listed on a registry;
  5. the property is "rock art" on the national register of historic places in Wisconsin; or
  6. if the property is plant material used in research.

A felony criminal damage to property will also be charged if in an attempt to steal money from a machine that is operated by coin, currency, or credit or debit card that machine is damaged.