Criminal damage to property, or vandalism, is the most common property crime in Minnesota. Intentional property damage to private or public property (vandalism) can result in anywhere from a misdemeanor to a felony level offense. Vandalism is divided into three degrees based on severity.
First Degree Criminal Damage to Property
A person can face charges of criminal damage to property in the first degree if they intentionally cause damage to someone else’s property without their consent and any of the following apply:
- The damage causes a reasonable risk of bodily harm
- The property belongs to a common carrier (utility) and impairs the service to the public
- The damage reduces the value of the property by more than $1,000
- The damage reduces the value of the property by more than $500 and the offender has a prior conviction of this offense
This charge is a felony and carries a potential sentence of up to five years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
Second Degree Criminal Damage to Property
A person could face a second degree vandalism charge and be sentenced to a potential one year prison sentence and fines reaching $3,000 if they intentionally cause damage to someone else’s property because of their:
- Sexual orientation
- National origin
Third Degree Criminal Damage to Property
If a person intentionally causes damage to another person’s property without their consent they could be charged with third degree criminal damage to property.
This is a misdemeanor offense that carries charges of up to one year in jail or a fine of up to $3,000, or both.
Minnesota Vandalism Lawyer
All three degrees of vandalism can result in heavy fines and lengthy jail time. A skilled Minnesota vandalism attorney can defend your case diligently, and aggressively fight for your rights throughout the judicial process.