DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY

Destruction of Property is criminal vandalism under Virginia law. Virginia punishes the intentional destruction, damage, defacing, and removal of 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