Criminal Damage to Property - Defense Lawyer in Chicago

Criminal damage to property is a serious crime in Illinois – and it’s one that can put you behind bars. But what is criminal damage to property, and what kind of penalties does it carry?

First things first: You need to talk to a criminal damage to property attorney if you’re not sure what to do. Talking to a lawyer can give you the insight you need to start moving forward.

What is Criminal Damage to Property?

Criminal damage to property occurs when you knowingly damage something that belongs to someone else. That can include being reckless with fire or explosives (which means you didn’t have to intend to damage the property), knowingly starting a fire or using explosives, harming a domestic animal, damaging property in order to defraud an insurance company, or using something like a stink bomb (yes, the law really says “stink bomb”).

Criminal damage to property also extends to shooting firearms at railroad trains, damaging a fire hydrant or even opening a fire hydrant.

What Are the Penalties for Criminal Damage to Property?

The penalties for damaging someone else’s property depend on how much the damage would cost to repair. It can be a misdemeanor or a felony.

The table below outlines when criminal damage to property is a misdemeanor or felony, as well as the possible penalties you could face if you’re convicted.

Class A Misdemeanor Class 4 Felony Class 3 Felony Class 2 Felony Class 1 Felony
When? Damage is less than $300 Damage is between $300 and $10,000 Damage is between $10,000 and $100,000 Damage is more than $100,000 or is committed against a school, place of worship, or to farm equipment when the value is between $10,000 and $100,000 Damage is committed against a school, place of worship or to farm equipment and damage is valued at more than $100,000
Penalty Up to 1 year in jail
Fines of up to $2,500
1 to 3 years in prison

Fines of up to $25,000

2 to 5 years in prison

Fines of up to $25,000

3 to 7 years in prison

Fines of up to $25,000

4 to 15 years in prison

Fines of up to $25,000

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Criminal Damage to Property Charges?

If you’re accused of criminal damage to property, we may be able to help you. Call us right away at 847-920-4540 for a free case review. You’ll talk to an experienced, compassionate and knowledgeable attorney who can tell you what to do next.