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The criminal defense attorneys at Meyer Van Severen, S.C. can help defend your criminal damage to property case. Defense lawyers Matthew Meyer and Benjamin T. Van Severen have defended countless individuals facing the very same criminal charge. We’ve both familiar with the complex legal issues frequently surrounding criminal damage to property cases.
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What is criminal damage to property?
Criminal damage to property is defined in Section 943.01 of the Wisconsin Statutes. The statute indicates that it’s illegal when someone “causes damage to any physical property of another without the owner’s consent…”
What are the elements of the crime?
All crimes have elements that need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt at trial. This offense is no exception. Provided in Wisconsin Criminal Jury Instruction 1400, the elements of misdemeanor criminal damage to property:
- The defendant caused physical damage to the property; and
- The defendant intentionally caused the damage; and
- The property belonged to another person; and
- The defendant caused the damage without the consent of the owner; and
- The defendant knew the property belonged to another person and knew that the other person did not consent to the damage
“Damage” includes anything ranging from simply defacing property to complete destruction of that property.
“Intentionally” means the defendant has the mental purpose to damage the property, or knew that his conduct was practically certain to cause damage to the property.
Certainly this crime qualifies as a felony under certain circumstances. To be sure, there are additional requirements to reach that level.