Criminal trespass occurs when a person enters upon another individual’s land or premises. What makes it a crime is the person has no right to be on the other person’s property. Criminal trespass does not typically involve damaging someone’s property or interfering with their use of it while on the property. A person accused of causing damage or interfering with the owner’s right with their property can be charged with an array of crimes depending on the facts of the case. One such crime is criminal damage to property.

What Is Criminal Damage to Property?

Criminal damage to property involves any type of damage that deprives an individual the right to use their property. Property damage ranges from criminal mischief and vandalism to criminal tampering.

What Is Criminal Damage to Property in the First Degree?

In Georgia, criminal damage to property is defined as knowingly interfering with any property in a way that endangers human life without possessing authority to interfere. It is also the crime of knowingly using force or violence to interfere with the operation of any system of:

  • Public communication
  • Sewer
  • Public transportation
  • Drainage
  • Water supply
  • Power
  • Gas
  • Other public utility service

The interference must happen without authority.

What Is the Punishment for Criminal Damage to Property in the First Degree?

In Georgia, criminal damage to property in the first degree is a felony. It is punishable by one to 10 years in prison.

Should I Contact a Lawyer about My Criminal Damaging Charge?

You should absolutely contact a Georgia lawyer. Talking to a lawyer about your criminal damage to property charge will help you determine how to proceed.