Alabama has a number of laws relating to criminal damage to property. Depending on the specific crime and the amount of alleged damage that was caused, the consequences of a conviction can be quite severe.
A person who is accused of criminal property damage faces the possibility of lengthy incarceration and substantial fines. These crimes may be classified as either misdemeanors or felonies, but they all need to be taken seriously either way.
Huntsville Criminal Mischief / Criminal Tampering Lawyer
If you are facing any sort of criminal property damage charges, it is important to immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Law Offices Of Segal & Segal represents clients accused of property crimes like criminal mischief or criminal tampering in the greater Huntsville area.
Our firm serves all of Madison County as well as surrounding areas in Jackson County, Marshall County, Limestone County, and Morgan County. We can provide a complete review of your case when you call (256) 533-4529 or send us a message online to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.
Madison County Criminal Mischief / Criminal Tampering Overview
- What charges can a person face for criminal mischief?
- What is criminal tampering?
- Are there charges for other kinds of criminal property damage?
- What are the consequences if a person is convicted of any of these charges?
Criminal mischief is one of the most common property crimes in Alabama. It involves the intentional damage to any tangible or intangible property, real or personal, public or private. The classification of the offense is determined by the amount of damage that was allegedly caused:
- Criminal mischief in the third degree, Code of Alabama § 13A-7-23 — This is a Class B misdemeanor involving damages to property in an amount not exceeding $500.
- Criminal mischief in the second degree, Code of Alabama § 13A-7-22 — This is a Class A misdemeanor involving damages to property in an amount which exceeds $500 but does not exceed $2,500. mischief in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor.
- Criminal mischief in the first degree, Code of Alabama § 13A-7-21 — This is a Class C felony involving damages to property either in an amount exceeding $2,500 or by means of an explosion.
Criminal tampering involves improperly interfering, meddling with or making unwarranted alterations in the condition of another party's property. The offense often involves public or private utilities such as gas, electric, steam, water, sewage, transportation or communication services, cable and broadband services, or any institution that provides health and safety protection. Criminal tampering offenses are classified as follows:
- Criminal tampering in the second degree, Code of Alabama § 13A-7-26 — This is a Class B misdemeanor if a person, having no right to do so or any reasonable ground to believe that he or she has such a right, either intentionally tampers with another party's property for the purpose of causing substantial inconvenience to that party or to another, or intentionally tampers or makes connection with property of a utility.
- Criminal tampering in the first degree, Code of Alabama § 13A-7-25 — This is a Class C felony if a person either, without the right to do so or any reasonable ground to believe that he or she has such a right intentionally causes substantial interruption or impairment of a service rendered to the public by a utility, or a properly self-identified person working under the procedures and within the scope of his or her duties as an employee of the utility threatens an individual with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument with the intent to obstruct the operation of a utility.
Some of the other types of property crimes listed in Article 2 of Title 13A of the Code of Alabama include:
- Desecration, defacement, etc., of memorial of dead; invasion or mutilation of corpse , Code of Alabama § 13A-7-23.1 — If a person willfully or maliciously injures, defaces, removes, or destroys any tomb, monument, gravestone, or other monument containing human skeletal remains, associated burial artifacts, or placed or designed as a memorial of the dead, or damages any enclosure for the protection of such monument, or damages any other real or personal property within any cemetery or graveyard, this is a Class A misdemeanor. If a person willfully or maliciously desecrates, injures, defaces, removes, or destroys any of the aforementioned monuments or structures and invades or mutilates the human corpse or remains, this is a Class C felony.
- Criminal use of noxious substance, Code of Alabama § 13A-7-27 — This is a Class A misdemeanor is a person knowingly deposits on the land or in the building or vehicle of another, without that person's consent, any stink bomb or device, irritant or offensive-smelling substance, with the intent to interfere with another's use of the land, building or vehicle.
- Criminal possession of noxious substances , Code of Alabama § 13A-7-28 — This is a Class A misdemeanor if a person possesses, manufactures or transports any stink bomb or device, irritant, offensive-smelling or injurious substance, and intends that the injurious article or substance be used in the commission of any crime.
- Criminal littering , Code of Alabama § 13A-7-29 — This is a Class C misdemeanor with a minimum fine of $250 for the first conviction and $500 for the second and any subsequent conviction if a person engages in any of the following acts:
- Knowingly deposits in any manner litter on any public or private property or in any public or private waters, having no permission to do so.
- Negligently deposits in any manner glass or other dangerously pointed or edged objects on or adjacent to water to which the public has lawful access for bathing, swimming, or fishing, or on or upon a public highway, or within the right-of-way thereof.
- Discharges sewage, oil products, or litter from a watercraft vessel of more than 25 feet in length into a river, inland lake, or stream within the state or within three miles of the shoreline of the state.
- Drops or permits to be dropped or thrown upon any highway any destructive or injurious material and does not immediately remove the same or cause it to be removed
- Removes a wrecked or damaged vehicle from a highway and does not remove glass or other injurious substance dropped upon the highway from such vehicle.
Unless otherwise noted for specific crimes, the consequences for misdemeanor and felony convictions are as follows:
- Class C Misdemeanor — Up to three months in county jail and fines of up to $500
- Class B Misdemeanor — Up to six months in county jail and fines of up to $3,000
- Class A Misdemeanor — Up to one year in county jail and fines of up to $6,000
- Class C Felony — Prison sentence of one year up to 10 years and fines of up to $15,000
- Class B Felony — Prison sentence of two years up to 20 years and fines of up to $30,000
- Class A Felony — Prison sentence of 10 years up to life and fines of up to $60,000
Find the Best Criminal Mischief / Criminal Tampering Lawyer in Huntsville
It may be possible that property damage was accidentally caused, there is a lack of evidence against the alleged offender, or any other number of other defenses that can result in charges being significantly reduced or completely dismissed. It is in your best interest to contact a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as possible if you are facing criminal property damage charges so you can improve the likelihood of obtaining the most favorable outcome.
Law Offices Of Segal & Segal defends clients all over Huntsville as well as nearby communities such as New Hope, Scottsboro, Athens, Madison, Albertville, and Decatur. Call us today at (256) 533-4529 or send us a message online for a free review of your case that will let our firm see how we may be able to help.