The standard criminal charge for property damage in West Virginia is Removal, Injury, or Destruction of Property.
There are a few classifications of this offense under WV law. You could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances surrounding your case and the severity of the property damage.
(See our other page for Virginia laws & penalties on Injury to Property)
WV Misdemeanor Removal, Injury, or Destruction of Property Penalties
If the prosecution has probable cause to believe that you unlawfully took, carried away, destroyed, damaged, or defaced someone else’s property (and it doesn’t amount to the felony guidelines), you could be charged with this misdemeanor offense. If convicted, you would face a fine of up to $500 and a jail sentence of up to one year.
Felony Removal, Injury, or Destruction of Property Penalties
The felony charge of removal, injury, or destruction of property applies if you intentionally destroyed, injured, or defaced someone else’s property and the damage is valued at more than $2,500. This charge carries a potential sentence of 1 to 10 years in prison and fines reaching $2,500.
Ref: WV Code §61-3-29
Taking or Injuring Crops
West Virginia has a specific law for theft or destruction of farm products. If you are accused of entering the property of another person and taking, injuring, or destroying any of the grain, fruit, grass, or vegetables being grown there, you could be charged with this misdemeanor. This charge carries a potential penalty of up to 6 months in jail and $500 in fines.
If the value of the property in question is greater than $1,000, you will face a more serious felony charge and a potential sentence of 1 to 10 years in prison.
Ref: WV Code §61-3-34
Burning Insured Property – Penalties
Under West Virginia law, Arson for insurance fraud is called Burning Insurance Properties. You may face this serious offense if the prosecution has reason to believe you burned or attempted to burn property that was insured for the purpose of defrauding the insurer. The property in question does not have to be your own and you could be charged with this crime if you aid in this act, persuade someone to participate, entice or solicit someone to burn said property.
Burning insured property is a felony punishable by 1 to 5 years in prison and $10,000 in fines. If convicted you will not be eligible for parole until you serve a minimum of 1 year of your sentence.
Ref: WV Code §61-3-34