Value of Property in New Canaan Criminal Mischief Cases
The value of property in New Canaan criminal mischief cases is extremely important in determining what degree of charge a defendant should face. If the property is valued too highly, a defendant could even face felony charges when a misdemeanor would be more appropriate.
If you were charged with criminal mischief, you should have a top CT attorney by your side. They could conduct their own estimate of the property value and challenge the state’s assessment if it is unfair. Call today to get started working towards a positive outcome in your case.
Levels of Criminal Mischief Charge
If a person intentionally damages the property of another person and the damage exceeds $1,500, that person will be charged with criminal mischief in the first degree, which is a Class D felony. If the damage exceeds $250 but does not exceed $1,500, that person will be charged with criminal mischief in the second degree, which is a Class A misdemeanor. As long as the damaged property does not exceed $1,500, a person is facing a misdemeanor charge unless they damaged police or state property.
Assessing Property Value
The value of the property will be assessed by the police department when they investigate a criminal mischief case. Sometimes, the police will ask the alleged victim what they believe the value of the property is or if they have a receipt for the property. Most of the time, police do not spend a lot of time looking into the value.
The alleged victims have a motivation to inflate the price of the damaged item so they can be paid back for their inconvenience, but this could cause the defendant to be unfairly charged with felony criminal mischief instead of a misdemeanor. It is typically up to the defendant’s attorney to look into the value of the property and to challenge inappropriate assessments.
Refuting the State’s Assessment
A skilled defense lawyer could challenge the value of the property damage in several ways. Sometimes, they can negotiate directly with the state attorney. As a result of these negotiations, the state’s attorney will lower the charge if they agree that the property damage does not rise to the level of a felony.
If negotiations with the state’s attorney are unsuccessful, a top defense attorney could also challenge the value of the damaged property in court. This requires bringing a motion in front of the judge to dismiss the greater charge.
Discuss Your Charges with a New Canaan Criminal Mischief Attorney
If you were accused of damaging another’s property, do not hesitate to contact a skilled criminal lawyer. As the best CT attorneys understand, the value of property in New Canaan criminal mischief cases can have a serious impact on the outcomes. If the state does not assess the property value properly, you could face felony charges that are not appropriate to your situation.
Call an attorney today to discuss your case and begin working towards an optimum outcome. Your attorney could conduct an independent investigation and make sure the state treats you fairly.