Damage to Personal Property
North Carolina’s law against causing damage to personal property is technically referred to as “willful and wanton injury to real property.” Under this statute, it is against the law to “willfully and wantonly damage, injure or destroy” another’s property. Police, prosecutors, and judges all take property damage cases seriously because the offense is generally considered a “quality of life” crime that impacts the general public’s feeling of safety and decreases property values.
At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, we’ve assembled an experienced team of Charlotte property crimes lawyers who skillfully defend clients charged with causing damage to personal property. We have handled countless property damage cases and know how to undercut the prosecution’s case against you by developing a compelling and individualized defense based on the circumstances of your arrest.North Carolina’s Property Damage Laws
North Carolina’s property damage law is contained in N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-127, which simply states: “If any person shall willfully and wantonly damage, injure or destroy any real property whatsoever, either of a public or private nature, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.”
Similarly, N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-127.1 outlines the crime of graffiti vandalism, which is defined as unlawfully writing on or marking another’s property. Graffiti vandalism is also a Class 1 misdemeanor.
In North Carolina, Class 1 misdemeanor offenses carry a maximum punishment between 45 days in jail and 120 days in jail, depending on your prior record. However, in graffiti vandalism cases, the court must impose at least a $500 fine, and if the court elects to spare you from incarceration, it must order at least 24 hours of community service to be included in your sentence. Additionally, graffiti vandalism can become a Class H felony if you have two prior convictions (from separate incidents) for the same.Examples of Property Damage Cases
There are countless examples of situations where prosecutors could bring charges related to damage to personal property, for example:
- A man slashes the tires of his ex-girlfriend’s car after she breaks up with him;
- A person throws a rock through a neighbor’s window after their children get into a fight; and
- A college student scrawls an obscene word on a teacher’s office door.
Property damage cases have many different aspects that must be considered when developing a defense. First, as with all criminal cases, how can the government prove you committed the crime? At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, this is always our first avenue of attack. The second aspect that comes up in many property damage cases is the value of the property. Many times, the alleged victim will exaggerate the value of their property in hopes of obtaining a larger-than-deserved restitution award or induced payout. If an insurance company gets involved, it can further complicate the case, as it is essentially like another party joining the case.Have You Been Charged With Causing Damage to Personal Property?
If you are facing allegations that you damaged another’s property, the Charlotte property damage lawyers at the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, are here to help. The Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, is uniquely suited to handle your case, given our vast experience successfully resolving property damage cases. From your very first consultation to the end of your case, you will be directly working with one of our experienced attorneys. Other firms leave consultations and communications to their paralegals or secretaries who don’t have a direct interest in your case and well-being. We feel that a strong lawyer-client relationship is the key to a convincing defense. Our firm will make sure your interests are never overlooked and that your rights will be protected at every step of the way. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with a Charlotte personal property damage defense attorney, give us a call at 704-705-2580. You can also connect with us through our secure online contact form.