Malicious Injury to Property is also commonly known as "Vandalism". Malicious injury to property and vandalism are treated as serious crimes in Idaho. Anyone charged with Malicious Injury to Property or Vandalism should take the charges seriously and seek the help of an experienced Idaho criminal defense attorney at their first opportunity. The consequences of a conviction for vandalism or malicious injury to property will have a lasting effect well beyond a period of simply being found guilty or pleading guilty to the offense. For instance, employers are routinely conducting background checks on everyone applying for a job. With the shrinking job market there may be a hundred or more applicants for every job opening. Anyone with a criminal conviction, whether the conviction is a misdemeanor or felony will likely be immediately eliminated as a potential employee. The stigma of a conviction will likely have negative effects on your family, social life and reputation in the community. It is essential that those charged with vandalism seek the help of a professional lawyer to eliminate or reduce the charge.
Examples of Vandalism and Malicious Injury to Property Include:
In Idaho, Malicious Injury to Property is controlled by Idaho Code 18-7001. Under Idaho law Malicious Injury to Property can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending upon the monetary value of the property damage.
If the property damage is under one thousand dollars ($1000.00) the State of Idaho will charge the alleged perpetrator with a misdemeanor. Obviously the property has to belong to third party before the prosecutor can charge someone with malicious injury to property. The property could either be real property, being real estate or the property damage could be to personal property, such as an automobile. To the surprise of many unsuspecting individuals, the State of Idaho can charge someone with vandalism when the property destroyed or injured is "community property". In other words, if you and your wife own a house and you get into an argument, tempers fly and you punch a hole in the kitchen wall, the police could charge you with a misdemeanor malicious injury to property. This is not a far fetched example. Many individuals have found themselves charged with a misdemeanor for destruction or injury to marital property. It is unusual for the police to become involved when a marriage is happy, but very common for the police to become involved and bring vandalism charges when a marriage is on the rocks. The maximum penalties include up to one (1) year in jail and up to a one thousand ($1000.00) fine or both.
If the property damage is over one thousand dollars ($1000.00) the State of Idaho could bring a felony charge. Again, this would include the personal property or real property of someone else. It would also include community property whether it is personal property or real property. The penalties include a minimum of one (1) year in the Idaho State Prison and up to five years (5) in the Idaho State Penitentiary. In addition the court can order a fine up of to one thousand ($1000.00) and a prison term of one (1) to five (5) years.
For a consultation with a Boise criminal attorney at Martens Law Office, P.C., call 208-344-0994, or contact us online.