Property Crime Lawyers in Phoenix, Arizona
Arizona is very serious about prosecuting individuals for property offenses. It is for this reason that one in four prison inmates have been incarcerated for property crimes, such as criminal damage to property or theft.
Criminal Damage to Property
When law enforcement believes a person has damaged a piece of property that belongs to someone else, they will charge the accused person of committing criminal damage to property. Often times, the only evidence police rely on to make such a charge is the verbal testimony of the property owner. Since this is sometimes the case, police usually do not have fingerprints, DNA samples, or video surveillance of the act in question. The accused person would have a very strong case to take to trial if this happens.
Property Crime Charges
Whether a person is entitled to a jury trial, as opposed to a judge trial, will depend on how the property crime was charged. Criminal damage to property can be charged as low as a class 2 misdemeanor; in which case, the punishment would be up to 4 months in jail. On the other hand, it can also be charged as a 4th degree Felony in which a person may be sentenced up to 1.5 years in prison. In the end, the severity of the charge depends on the amount of the alleged damage.
- If the damage was at or less than $250, the crime will be charged as a 2nd degree misdemeanor and the convicted will only be entitled to a bench trial. At a bench trial, no jury will be present and only the judge will determine if the person is innocent or guilty.
- If the value of the damage was above $250, the person will be entitled to a jury trial. At a jury trial, in order to be convicted, the government will have to convince every member of the jury that the charged person is guilty.
In either setting, the accused still has the right to challenge the prosecution for insufficient evidence, cross-examine the government's witnesses, call his or her own witnesses, or to testify themselves.
Our Property Crime Experience
At the Law Offices of Michael Cordova, we have represented dozens of clients who have faced property crime charges. In some instances, prosecutors may dismiss the case upon a payment of restitution. Other times, prosecutors require a plea but will request no jail time. However, if the prosecutor is not willing to be reasonable, we are fully prepared to take the case to trial. Since deciding to settle or take the case to trial is always our clients' decision, we will supply the legal advice needed to help our clients make an informed and intelligent decision.
If you have been charged with a property crime, please contact our Property Crime Lawyers for a free, personal, and confidential consultation. You can contact the Law Offices of Michael Cordova at 602-265-6700.
Our lawyers not only work on property crime cases but in other criminal defense and DUI areas, as well as personal injury, vehicle accidents, wrongful death, dog bites, motorcycle accidents, and product and premises liability, so please contact your local Phoenix attorneys for a free consultation.
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