Illinois

Under Illinois law, criminal damage to property is an extensive and somewhat complex law. There are many acts that could be considered criminal damage to property. The specifics of the crime dictate the seriousness of the charge and potential sentence.

You may be charged with criminal damage to property if you do any of the following:

  1. Knowingly damage someone else’s property,
  2. Recklessly, by fire or explosion, damage someone else’s property,
  3. Knowingly start a fire on someone else’s land,
  4. Knowingly injure a pet belonging to someone else, or
  5. Damage property to collect insurance.

The charge you will face for this offense depends on the property that was damaged

Criminal Damage to Property – Class A misdemeanor

You will face Class A misdemeanor charges of criminal damage to property if the damage done is valued at less than $300. A Class A misdemeanor carries a potential sentence of one year in jail and fines of $2,500.

Criminal Damage to Property – Class 4 Felony

The charge you face will be a Class 4 felony if the damage is more than $300 but less than $10,000, or if the damage is committed against a school, place of worship, or to farm equipment and is valued at less than $300. A Class 4 felony can carry up to 1 to 3 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.

Criminal Damage to Property  РClass 3 Felony

Class 3 felony criminal damage to property is committed when the property damage is valued at between $10,000 and $100,000, or if the property in question was a place of worship, school, or farm equipment and the damage is vaued at between $300 and $10,000.

Class 3 felonies carry a potential penalty of 2 to 5 years in prison and fines reaching $25,000.

Criminal Damage to Property  РClass 2 Felony

You will face Class 2 felony charges of criminal damage to property if the damage is valued at more than $100,000 or if the damage is done to a school, place of worship, or farm equipment and the damage is valued at $10,000 to $100,000.

A Class 2 felony carries a sentence of 3 to 7 years in prison and fines up to $25,000.

Criminal Damage to Property  РClass 1 Felony

If the damage is done to a place of worship, a school, or farm equipment and the damage is valued at more than $100,000. If charged with this offense, you face a potential penalty of 4 to 15 years in prison and fines reaching $25,000.

Ref: 720 ILCS 5/21-1

Criminal Damage of Fire Fighting Apparatus, Hydrants, or Equipment

You may be charged with this criminal damage offense if you willfully and maliciously cut, damage, tamper with, destroy, or deface any fire hydrant or hose, fire engine or any public or private fire-fighting equipment.

This offense is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and fines up to $1,500.

Ref: 720 ILCS 5/21-1.1

Criminal Defacement of Property

Criminal defacement of property is graffiti, etching, marking, writing, or painting on someone else’s property. The charge you face depends on the value of the damage done.

If the damage is your first offense and the value is less than $300, you will face Class B misdemeanor charges punishable by up to 6 months in jail and fines up to $1,500.

If this is your second or subsequent offense or the damage is valued at more than $300, the charge you will face in court is a Class A misdemeanor which carries a potential penalty of up to one year in jail and fines of $2,500.

Class 3 felony charges apply when the damage is valued at more than $300 and the property vandalized is a church, school, or farm equipment. Class 3 felonies are punishable by 2 to 5 years in prison and fines reaching $25,000.

Ref: 720 ILCS 5/21-1.3

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