DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY
Acts punished: intentionally destroying, damaging, defacing, or removing property belonging to someone else. Generally, regardless of what kind of property you destroy in Virginia, the offense will be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony based on the value of the destruction. This crime has nothing to do with theft – larcenies are punished separately in VA.
Penalty: Virginia law 18.2-137 punishes vandalism as a Class 6 felony when the value of or damage to the property is $1,000 or higher. The exact same act is punished as a Class 1 misdemeanor when the value of or damage to the property is less than $1,000. If you are convicted of this crime, the court will likely order you to pay restitution to the victim.
The amount of loss caused by the destruction, defacing, damage or removal of such property, memorial or monument may be established in a court of law by proving the fair market cost of repair or fair market replacement value. A witness who is familiar with the destroyed property may testify in court as to the value and that testimony may be considered sufficient by the judge to establish that number.
Destruction of property / vandalism may also be charged under the following code sections:
15.2-1812.2 – Willful and malicious damage to or defacement of public or private facilities
18.2-135. Destruction of posted signs; posting land of another
18.2-137. Injuring, etc., any property, monument, etc.
18.2-140. Destruction of trees, shrubs, etc.
18.2-162. Damage or trespass to public services or utilities
*This article is for your personal information only and is not intended as legal advice. Nothing herein shall create an attorney – client relationship. This area of the law is very complex. Every case is different and the information contained herein is general. This information is not intended to be legal advice. Nor is this material intended to replace consultation with a lawyer. Always consult a licensed lawyer for your particular case. Call 703.870.6868 for a consultation.