Criminal Damage to Property Lawyer

Here is what you need to know about criminal damage to property charges in Kansas.

Is Criminal Damage to Property a felony or a misdemeanor?

It depends. The severity of the criminal charge is nearly always linked to the value of the item that is damaged. The more valuable the item the more severe the crime. Most criminal damage to property cases involve damage to property that is valued at less than $1000. Those are generally misdemeanor offenses. When the value of the damage exceeds $1000 but is less than $25,000 then it is a level 9 felony. When the value of the damage is more than $25,000 but less than $100,000 then it is a level 7 felony. When the value of the damage is over $100,000 then it is a level 5 felony.

For example, imagine you go to a store to steal a video game but the video game is in a secure glass case. You break the glass case and steal the video game. You could be charged with misdemeanor theft for stealing the game, however, you could also be charged with a level 9 felony for damaging the glass case holding the game.

Similarly, imagine you got mad at a boyfriend and keyed his car, even though the car may be valued at over $50,000 the entire value of the car isn't what was damaged. You would look at the damage you caused by keying the car as the value of the damage to calculate what level of charge you should be charged with. If the cost of fixing the scratch was less than $1000 then you would be charged with a misdemeanor. If the cost to get the scratch fixed was more than $1000 then you would be charged with a felony.

What court will my case be heard in for a criminal damage case?

Criminal damage cases can be heard in both the municipal court as well as the Johnson County District Court. If the crime is a felony then it will always end up in district court. If it is a misdemeanor it will depend on who was the alleged victim and who was the arresting agency.