Virginia Authorities Searching For Suspect In Property Damage Case
Local authorities are searching for the suspect in a case that seemed to involve traffic violations and property damage, according to an article by FOX affiliate WFXR.
This incident occurred on Wednesday, December 1 at approximately 11:30 a.m. Police officers responded to an automotive accident that involved a single vehicle. Apparently, the vehicle swerved off the road and crashed into a utility pole.
Even though the authorities have yet to apprehend a suspect in this case, it seems likely that charges for property damage are just around the corner. In the meantime, it is a good opportunity to review the Virginia laws against and punishment for property damage offenses.
How Does Virginia Define Telephone Record Fraud Crimes?
Code of Virginia Section 18.2-137 supplies the rules against property damage. This section prohibits any person from unlawfully:
- Destroying, defacing, damaging, or removing any property that belongs to someone else; or
- Breaking down, destroying, defacing, damaging, or removing any monument, memorial, or boundary designation.
Ultimately, Section 18.2-137 only applies to property, monuments, memorials, and boundary designations that belong to someone else or the government. A person can usually destroy, damage, or deface their own property without fear of criminal repercussions.
What is the Virginia Punishment for Telephone Fraud Crimes?
The Virginia punishment for property damage also appears under Section 18.2-137. The exact penalty usually changes based on the nature of the conduct and the amount of damage caused.
If property damage in violation of Section 18.2-137 merely involved unlawful conduct — where the offender did not act intentionally — it is a Class 3 misdemeanor. A conviction at this level is punishable by a fine only with an upper limit of $500.
If property damage in violation of Section 18.2-137 involved intentional conduct — and less than $1,000 in damage to the property in question — it is a Class 1 misdemeanor. A conviction at this level is punishable by a maximum of 12 months in county jail and $2,500 in criminal fines.
If property damage in violation of Section 18.2-137 involved intentional conduct — and at least $1,000 in damage to the property in question — it is a Class 6 felony. A conviction at this level is punishable by one to five years in prison and up to $2,500 in criminal fines.
Section 18.2-137 also institutes the possibility of restitution for property damage offenses. The court may order restitution on the basis of evidence demonstrating the:
- Fair market cost of repair; or
- Fair market cost of replacement.
In either case, a property damage offender will likely face restitution for repair or replacement, in addition to the criminal penalties described above.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If you are facing criminal charges, our team can help. Don’t hesitate to contact the skilled Leesburg criminal lawyers at Simms Showers LLP for assistance with your case.