Under Illinois laws, Criminal Damage of Property is when someone knowingly damages the property of someone else (without consent from the owner). The punishment depends on what type of property was damaged and the dollar value of the damage.
You can also be accused of Criminal Damage of Property when you damage someone’s property by behaving recklessly with fire or explosives, by putting a stink-bomb on someone’s property, or by shooting at a railroad train. All of these are specific examples of damage to property.
Criminal Damage to Property also applies to the animals owned by other people. For example, if you intentionally injure your neighbor’s dog because it is annoying you, you can be charged with Damage to Property.
But the most common property damage crimes are incidents of road rage, vandalism, or domestic disputes that involve careless or deliberate damage to property.
Your specific case will have its own details that need to be analyzed by a legal professional to determine how it the law applies to your charges.
(See Illinois Damage to Property Laws 720 ILCS sec. 21)
Illinois Criminal Damage of Property – Laws & Penalties
If the damage to property is less than $300, the charge is a Class A Misdemeanor which carries a possible sentence of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500
If the damage to property is between $301 and $10,000 it is a Class 4 Felony which carries a possible sentence of up to 3 years in a state penitentiary and/or a fine of up to $25,000.
If the damage to property is between $10,001 and $100,000 it is a Class 3 Felony which carries a possible sentence of up to 5 years in a state penitentiary and/or a fine of up to $25,000.
If the damage to property is over $100,000 it is a Class 2 Felony which carries a possible sentence of up to 7 years in a state penitentiary and/or a fine of up to $25,000.
Additional Criminal Damage Property Penalties
If you are being charged with damaging property at a school, place of worship or to farm or agricultural equipment then the penalty is more severe than the above guidelines.
The penalties for Damage to Property involving animals are also more severe. It is very important to get your individual case looked at to determine your level of exposure.
Free Legal Consultation and Case Evaluation on Criminal Damage of Property Charges in Illinois
Any criminal charge in Illinois is a serious legal problem. A conviction and a permanent criminal record can affect the rest of your life, and result in significant fines, and the risk of jail time.
As a defendant, the courts are not on your side. You need a criminal defense lawyer who can be there to protect your rights and your interests in this adversarial process.
You can rely on our experienced Illinois lawyers to help defend you against whatever damage to property charges you may have. Your case needs prompt attention from someone you can trust to defend your rights. During a free consultation, one of our attorneys will help you determine what needs to happen and create a plan of action for your specific case.