Criminal Damage in Arizona: A.R.S. 13-1602

Rideout Law Group can assist you in your criminal damage case.

Criminal Damage Charges in Arizona

A.R.S. 13-1602 defines the offense of criminal damage and outlines the various classifications and penalties associated with damaging or defacing property belonging to another person, utility property, or public/private buildings, structures, or surfaces. While you can read the full statute here, below is an overview of this statute and its resulting penalties:

Offenses Comprising Criminal Damage:

  1. Reckless Defacement or Damage: Recklessly defacing or damaging the property of another person.
  2. Reckless Tampering: Recklessly tampering with property of another person in a way that substantially impairs its function or value.
  3. Utility Property Damage: Recklessly damaging property belonging to a utility.
  4. Depriving Livestock of Access: Recklessly parking any vehicle in a manner that deprives livestock of access to the only reasonably available water source.
  5. Drawing or Inscribing Unauthorized Messages: Recklessly drawing or inscribing a message, slogan, sign, or symbol on any public or private building, structure, or surface without the owner’s permission.
  6. Intentional Tampering with Utility Property: Intentionally tampering with property belonging to a utility, which results in an imminent safety hazard to any person.

Penalties for Criminal Damage:

The severity of the criminal damage offense determines the classification and penalties:

  1. Class 4 Felony: Reckless damage of property of another in an amount of $10,000 or more or reckless damage of property of a utility in an amount of five thousand dollars or more or intentionally tampers with utility property, resulting in an imminent safety hazard. This can result in four years of incarceration.
  2. Class 5 Felony: Reckless damage of property of another in an amount of $2,000 or more but less than $10,000 dollars. It also applies when the damage is inflicted to promote, further, or assist any criminal street gang or criminal syndicate with the intent to intimidate. This can result in up to two and a half years of incarceration.
  3. Class 6 Felony: Reckless damage of property of another in an amount of $1,000 or more but less than $2,000. This can result in up to two years of incarceration.
  4. Class 1 Misdemeanor: Damage to a property of another in an amount of more than $250 but less than $1000. This can result in six months in jail.
  5. Class 2 Misdemeanor: In all other cases not specified above. This can result in four months in jail.


An attorney can help you in your criminal damage case by looking into whether hearsay occurred, whether your admission of criminal damage is permissible in the court of law, evidence reliability, witness testimony, and whether a plea agreement would be advisable.



With offices in Lake Havasu City and Scottsdale, our firm serves the entire state of Arizona, with a particular focus on criminal defense, family law, and juvenile cases.

Our goal is for the best outcome for your criminal case, which can include:

  • charges that are reduced or dropped.
  • top experts reviewing your case.
  • aggressive negotiations with the prosecution for plea bargains.
  • fines or probation in lieu of jail time.

At Rideout Law Group, our attorneys are able to expertly examine the evidence in your case to provide a strong strategy for argument that leads to an outcome that is most favorable to you. We have experience in all types of criminal cases for both adults and juveniles, with positive outcomes both in plea negotiations as well as jury trial settings.

Call us today for a free consultation at 480-584-3328.



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