Second Degree Murder Not Guilty
First Degree Murder/Shaken Baby/Abusive Head Trauma Not Guilty
Robbery Case Dismissed
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DUI Case Dismissed
Aggravated Sexual Battery Case Dismissed
DUI Penalty Reduced
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Putnam County Destruction of Property Lawyer
Accused of Destroying, Damaging, or Vandalizing Property? Call Our Firm Today.
In Tennessee, destruction of property is a misdemeanor or felony. The value of the item determines the level of charge. If you have been accused of vandalism, speak with an attorney about your case before talking to anyone else, including law enforcement officials.
Often, those accused attempt to protect their good name and defend their actions by telling police officers their side of the story. Unfortunately, the police are acting on behalf of the state. They are tasked with gathering enough evidence to help the prosecutor seek to obtain a conviction.
Therefore, your words and actions at the beginning of your case may have the opposite of your intended effect.
At The Law Office of Douglas K. Dennis, our destruction of property attorney in Putnam County is familiar with the criminal process in Tennessee and is ready to stand behind you throughout your case. We want to hear your side of the story and ensure your voice is heard.
While doing so, we will also ensure that you do not provide any statements to law enforcement officials that could later be used against you.
What Is Considered Vandalism in Tennessee?
Vandalism refers to a wide range of conduct resulting in damage to a person's or retail merchant's property or other merchandise.
Under Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-14-408, to damage property means to:
- Destroy, pollute, or contaminate it;
- Tamper with it and cause a financial loss or substantial inconvenience;
- Pour toxins or chemicals on it;
- Cause the value of merchandise to decrease; or
- Mar local or state government property
Nearly any item or merchandise belonging to an individual or retail merchant is covered by the law, including goods, food, and wares.
A person can be accused of committing vandalism if they:
- Damage or destroy real or personal property without the owner's consent,
- Help or attempt to help someone destroy property,
- Damage merchandise at a store,
- Facilitate or act as an accessory after the fact to the offense.
You might be feeling frightened and overwhelmed after being charged with vandalism. This is understandable, as you could be facing jail or prison time, fines, and other sanctions. A lot is at stake. However, you do not have to leave your future up to chance. You can have a knowledgeable attorney represent your best interests and help you navigate the justice system.
At The Law Office of Douglas K. Dennis, our destruction of property attorney in Putnam County will investigate your case, identify the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecutor's allegations, and develop a defense strategy tailored for your specific needs. We can invest the necessary resources into working toward obtaining a favorable result on your behalf.
What Happens If Someone Unlawfully Destroys Property in Tennessee?
For the most part, destruction of property in Tennessee is charged like theft crimes, meaning the charge is linked to the value of the item. Additionally, the defendant's level of involvement is factored into determining punishments.
Below are the levels of charges and possible penalties for vandalism:
Property valued at $1,000 or less – Class A misdemeanor:
- Up to 11 months, 29 days in jail and/or
- Up to $2,500 in fines
Property valued above $1,000 but below $2,500 – Class E felony:
- 1 to 6 years in prison and/or
- Up to $3,000 in fines
Property valued at $2,500 or more but less than $10,000 – Class D felony:
- 2 to 12 years in prison and
- Up to $5,000 in fines
Property valued at $10,000 or more but less than $60,000 – Class C felony:
- 3 to 15 years in prison and
- Up to $10,000 in fines
Property valued at $60,000 or more but less than $250,000 – Class B felony:
- 8 to 30 years in prison and
- Up to $25,000 in fines
Property valued at $250,000 or more – Class A felony:
- 15 to 60 years in prison and
- Up to $50,000 in fines
If the defendant were found guilty of facilitating vandalism, they would be penalized at one classification lower than the primary offense. If they were an accessory after the fact, meaning they did something after the crime to prevent the principal's arrest, prosecution, conviction, or punishment, they would be charged with a Class E felony.
It can be scary to see the possible punishments for a conviction, but it is important to know what you are facing. It is also vital to recognize that the range of penalties will vary depending on the facts of the case, and it may be possible to seek reduced sentences.
Our destruction of property lawyer in Putnam County can fight toward obtaining an optimal result, including a case dismissal or reduction of charges which can help avoid or minimize penalties.
Speak with a Destruction of Property Attorney Today
Retaining a lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest or charge is essential. As mentioned before, with legal representation early on, you can get the counsel and guidance you need to avoid making missteps that could hurt your case later. Additionally, the sooner you have an attorney on your side, the more time they can spend preparing your defense.