Georgia Criminal Damage to Property 2nd Degree OCGA 16-7-23
Causing damage to another person’s property in Georgia can lead to an arrest for criminal damage to property in the 2nd degree under O.C.G.A. 16-7-23. - if it can be proved in court that the perpetrator caused more than $500 in damages. Typical examples of criminal damage to property in the 2nd degree are when a person breaks a store window during a burglary, or when someone slashes their ex-boyfriend’s car tires. If the dollar amount of damage caused can be proven to be over $500 then the person arrested could be convicted of a felony. Felon status stays with you for life – you cannot vote and you have to tell future employers that you are a convicted felon.How Does the Victim Prove Value in a Criminal Damage to Property Case?
One of the more common ways to place a dollar amount on damages done is for the victim or another person to have the damages repaired, and then one of our criminal defense lawyers will bring the repair receipts to court to be admitted as evidence. This method is necessary because if we only had the owner’s opinion on what his or her property was worth before the damages were inflicted, and what the property is worth after the criminal damage to the property was committed, this verbal estimation is does not meet the State’s burden of proof requirements.
Our criminal defense team can also call in expert witnesses to testify as to the value of the property in question. Call Larry Kohn or Cory Yager at (404) 567-5515 to get a better understanding of how willful property damage cases are best handled.How We Help Clients Avoid a Criminal Damage to Property GA 2nd Degree Conviction
Georgia prosecutors come to court well-prepared for every case on the court calendar, so you and your attorney must show up even more prepared. When you meet with us for your free initial consultation, we will intently listen to your version of what happened and discuss ways to defend against what you have been accused of doing. We have put forth several defenses against property crimes that have resulted in more favorable outcomes.
For example, we may be able to prove that the damage to property was accidental – the perpetrator did not mean to break something or destroy something. Another strategy we could pursue is to argue that the owner gave our client permission to cause the damage. That may sound odd at first, nut here is an example: our client cuts down old oak trees on the owner’s property and is suddenly arrested for second degree criminal damage to property. The whole matter then gets cleared up when the owner testifies that he gave our client permission to remove the trees.
A third approach is to prove that the property damage did not exceed $500 in value. If the value was under $500 then our client can still face the charge of Georgia Criminal Trespass.
Crimes against property is a complicated area of law in Georgia and it is our job to know the latest law changes and the court case decisions that may apply in your case. Attorneys Cory Yager and Larry Kohn have over 30 years of courtroom experience that you can depend on to help you face tough prosecution. Both attorneys return phone calls the same day, and you can come to our Sandy Springs office for your free initial consultation. Included in this initial discussion we will explain how you can take advantage of our payment plans.