In Connecticut, property damage crimes are covered under the states Criminal Mischief laws. The seriousness of the charges depend on what is damaged, and the cost of that damage.
Connecticut 1st Degree Criminal Mischief – Laws & Penalties
There are several instances that could bring about a charge of criminal mischief in the 1st degree. If the prosecution has probable cause to believe you did any of the following you could face Class C felony charges:
1. Intentionally damage property of another in an amount over $1,500,
2. Intentionally damage or tamper with the property of a public utility or public transportation, power, or communication means causing interruption or impairment of service,
3. Intentionally cause damage to any electronic monitoring equipment owned by the state of Connecticut,
4. Intentionally tamper with
a. Any property owned by the state, city, or a person for fire or police alarm purposes,
b. Any telecommunication system operated by a police department,
c. Any emergency medical or fire dispatch system, or
d. Any fire suppression equipment (extinguishers, hydrants, etc)
This Class D felony carries a potential sentence of 1 to 5 years in prison and fines reaching $5,000.
Ref: Conn. Stat. Sec. 53a-115
Connecticut 2nd Degree Criminal Mischief – Laws & Penalties
You could be charged with criminal mischief in the second degree if you intentionally damage the property of another in an amount of more than $250 or intentionally damage or tamper with the property of a public utility or mode of public transportation, power, or communication, creating a risk of interruption or impairment of service.
Criminal Mischief in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and up to $2,000 in fines.
Ref: Conn. Stat. Sec. 53a-116
Connecticut 3rd Degree Criminal Mischief – Laws & Penalties
Criminal mischief in the 3rd degree is committed when you intentionally or recklessly damage property of another or tamper with property of another that causes the property to be placed in danger of damage, or if you damage property of another by negligence involving the use of potentially dangerous forces.
Criminal mischief in the 3rd degree is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
Ref: Conn. Stat. Sec. 53a-117
Connecticut 4th Degree Criminal Mischief – Laws & Penalties
Criminal mischief in the 4th degree happens when someone intentionally or recklessly damages or tampers with any fire hydrant or hydrant system or damages, tampers with, or removes any property for the purpose of fire alarm, smoke detection, or fire suppressant.
Fourth degree criminal mischief is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by up to 3 months in jail and up to $500 in fines.
Ref: Conn. Stat. Sec. 53a-117a
Restitution can also be ordered by a judge for all convictions of criminal mischief. This means you will pay for the damaged property in addition to any fines and criminal penalties.