Here is a breakdown of the four degrees of a criminal damage to property charge you could receive in Minnesota.
1st Degree Damage
To commit damage to property in the 1st, you have reached the most severe type of damage as seen by the law. A 1st degree criminal damage to property charge comes from doing damage that includes the following:
- Damages reduce the property value by more than $1,000 or by $500 with this being the defendant having already been charged for the same type of crime in the past three years.
- Damages to public property, such as public transit, light rail trains or anything that prohibits others from using these services.
- Damages that lead to a reasonable foreseeable risk to harming another person. This means that if the damage can cause someone bodily harm.
This is a very serious offense with a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or a combination of the two.
2nd Degree Damage
In the case of a 2nd degree criminal damage to property charge, the damages are greater than $500 but under $1,000. Plus the motivation behind the damage has to do with the property owner’s race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or sexual orientation. This is considered a felony and can result in a fine of $3,000, and just over a year in jail time.
3rd Degree Damage
This is very similar to the 2nd degree damage to property charge, as it is factored by the same monetary value and the same sentence punishment. Yet, the difference is that the motivation was something other than that which was listed above. This is considered a gross misdemeanor crime instead of a felony.
4th Degree Damage
The 4th degree criminal damage to property happens when someone damages property intentionally for any other reason. This would be labeled as a misdemeanor.
With these varying degrees of charges, from a misdemeanor to a felony, you will want to make sure that you have a criminal defense lawyer experienced in property damage charges, Mark Herman on your side. A good lawyer will be able to help you interpret the law and give you potential possible outcomes for the case. As the punishment for these criminal offenses can lead to significant jail time and hefty fees, you want to have an attorney with you who has experience and knowledge in damage to property law. This will give you the best chance in the case to receive the minimum charge and punishment.