What is Property Destruction Charge in Fairfax County (Va. Code § 18.2-137)?

Virginia Code § 18.2-137 in outlaws property destruction in Fairfax County and across Virginia. This crime includes willfully damaging or destroying property that belongs to another person, either through vandalism, graffiti, or other means of intentional damage.

A. If any person unlawfully destroys, defaces, damages, or removes without the intent to steal any property, real or personal, not his own, or breaks down, destroys, defaces, damages, or removes without the intent to steal, any monument or memorial for war veterans, not his own, described in § 15.2-1812; any monument erected to mark the site of any engagement fought during the Civil War, or any memorial to designate the boundaries of any city, town, tract of land, or any tree marked for that purpose, he shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor, provided that the court may, in its discretion, dismiss the charge if the locality or organization that owns or is responsible for maintaining the injured property, monument, or memorial files a written affidavit with the court stating it has received full payment for the injury.

B. If any person who is not the owner of such property intentionally causes such injury, he is guilty of (i) a Class 1 misdemeanor if the value of or damage to the property, memorial, or monument is less than $1,000 or (ii) a Class 6 felony if the value of or damage to the property, memorial, or monument is $1,000 or more. The amount of loss caused by the destruction, defacing, damage, or removal of such property, memorial, or monument may be established by proof of the fair market cost of repair or fair market replacement value. Upon conviction, the court may order that the defendant pay restitution.

What happens after you are charged with Property Destruction in Fairfax County?

Property Destruction can either be charged as a Class 3 misdemeanor, Class 1 misdemeanor, or a Class 6 Felony. Depending on which you are charged with, you will either be released with a summons (most likely the misdemeanors) or be arrested (most likely the felony). If you are arrested, you will be booked and processed and then go in front of a magistrate who will determine bond.

Once you a released on bond, you will get a court date for you to appear on. This will start your criminal procedure for the charge. Once you have court dates or a trial date, your attorney can request the evidence in your case to see how best to defend against this charge.

What are the Consequences of a Property Destruction Charge in Fairfax?

A conviction for property destruction is not just the criminal charge. It can have a huge impact on other parts of your life such as immigration, issues at work, or stay on your criminal record since Virginia does not allow you to expunge your record. This is why it is important to fight the charge as early as you can.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some common questions about property destruction charges in Fairfax General District Court:

1. What are the potential penalties for property destruction in Virginia? Property destruction can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the value of the property damaged and other factors. Misdemeanor charges can result in fines and/or imprisonment for up to 12 months, while felony charges can lead to more severe penalties.

2. Can I negotiate a plea deal or alternative resolution for my case? Your attorney can help explore options such as plea bargaining or diversion programs that may result in reduced charges or alternative sentencing.

3. Will this charge impact my future employment or record? A property destruction conviction can have long-term consequences, potentially affecting future employment opportunities and background checks. Your attorney can provide insights into the implications and potential ways to mitigate these effects.

Consult with our Experienced Property Destruction Attorneys Today

Contact our office today to consult with an experienced Virginia criminal defense attorney if you are charged with Property Destruction in Fairfax County.