Are you a suspect in a criminal property damage case in Detroit, Michigan? Wondering what kind of penalties you might be faced with? If so, you’re not alone. Read on to find out more about the different kinds of punishments these types of criminal offenses can carry in Detroit.

How Property Damage Offenses are Classified in Detroit

If you got into a fight with someone and happened to take your anger out on their property, you might get slapped with a misdemeanor or felony charge. Though it might not seem like too big of a deal to put a small dent in someone’s wall or key a car, the reality of the matter is that any kind of property damage can have serious consequences, even if the damage was minor.

In Detroit, the act of damaging someone’s belongings is referred to as the “Willful and Malicious Destruction of Property”, and it is considered a crime under Michigan law. If you purposefully destroyed or damaged someone’s belongings, you can face several fines and may even be sent to jail. It all depends on the extent of the damage caused.

Misdemeanor Property Damage Penalties

If the property damage was relatively minor, you may be charged with a misdemeanor, according to Michigan’s criminal penalty laws. Property damage offenses that total less than $1,000 are considered misdemeanors.

If the damage inflicted was less than $200 worth, then you may expect to pay anywhere between $500 or up to three times what the damage cost. You may also be sentenced to spend up to 93 days in jail. If the damage resulted in costs over $200 but less than $1,000, you might have to pay $2,000 in fees or up to three times the equivalent of the damage, and may spend up to one year in jail.

Felony Property Crimes

When a property crime in Detroit, MI results in damage above $1,000, then the offense will usually be classified as a felony. Damage up to $20,0000 can result in fines upwards of $10,000 (or three times the damage costs), along with the possibility of spending up to five years in prison. Any property damage that is higher than $20,000 will result in the highest penalties, which can include up to $15,000 in fees (or three times the damage total) as well as up to 10 years in prison.

 

What Should You Do if You are Accused of a Property Offense?

Though penalty structures are in place for a reason, of course, these laws aren’t exactly “set in stone”. For example, if you damage federal property, school property, or property belonging to a police officer (among others), the penalties may be much higher – regardless of the actual damage you may have caused.

To ensure that your rights are upheld when contesting a property damage case Detroit, be sure to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer for assistance right away.

A criminal defense attorney in Detroit, MI who is well-versed in the intricacies of the state’s laws as they pertain to property offenses can help ensure the best possible outcome for your case is attained.