Illinois Criminal Damage to Property

The Law – 720 ILCS 5/21-1

A person commits Criminal Damage to Property when he or she:

  1. Knowingly damages any property of another
  2. Recklessly, by means of fire or explosives, damages the property of another
  3. Knowingly starts a fire on the land of another
  4. Knowingly injures a domestic animal of another without the consent
  5. Knowingly deposits on the land or in the building of another any stink bomb or any offensive smelling compound and thereby intends to interfere with the use by another of the land or building
  6. Knowingly damages any property, other than as described in (2) above, with the intent to defraud an insurer
  7. Knowingly shoots a firearm at any portion of a railroad train
  8. Knowingly, without proper authorization, cuts, injures, damages, defaces, destroys, or tampers with any fire hydrant or any public or private firefighting equipment, or any apparatus appertaining to firefighting equipment
  9. Intentionally, without proper authorization, opens any fire hydrant.

Criminal Damage to Property can range from a relatively minor offense to a very serious one, depending on the property damaged and, more importantly, the value of the damaged property. As one would expect, as the value of the damaged property increases, so too does the class level of the offense. It also covers a common sight we have all seen in the sweltering Chicago heat, an open fire hydrant.

While most of the Criminal Damage to Property law bans certain actions committed knowingly, when it comes to starting a fire on someone’s land, the individual only has to act recklessly. Under Illinois law, a person acts recklessly when they consciously disregard a substantial and unjustifiable risk that circumstances exist or that a result will follow and that disregard constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would exercise in the situation.

Sentencing

TYPE OF CRIMINAL DAMAGE TO PROPERTY SENTENCE JAIL TERM MAXIMUM FINE PROBATION? SUPERVISION?

If (8) or (9) above

Class B Misdemeanor

Up to 180 days in county jail

Up to $1,500.00

Yes

Yes

If (1), (2), (3), (5) or (6) above and damage to property less than $500

Class A Misdemeanor

Up to 364 days in county jail

Up to $2,500.00

Yes

Yes

If (1), (2), (3), (5) or (6) above and damage to property less than $500 and damage occurs to:

  • School
  • Place of Worship
  • Farm equipment
  • Property that honors police officers, fire fighters, armed forces members or veterans

Class 4 Felony

1 to 3 years in state prison

Up to $25,000

Yes

No

If (4) above and damage less than $10,000

Class 4 Felony

1 to 3 years in state prison

Up to $25,000

Yes

No

If (7) above

Class 4 Felony

1 to 3 years in state prison

Up to $25,000

Yes

No

If (1), (2), (3), (5) or (6) above and damage more than $500, but less than $10,000

Class 4 Felony

1 to 3 years in state prison

Up to $25,000

Yes

No

If (1), (2), (3), (5) or (6) above and damage more than $500, but less than $10,000 and Damage occurs to:

  • School
  • Place of Worship
  • Farm equipment
  • Property that honors police officers, fire fighters, armed forces members or veterans

Class 3 Felony

2 to 5 years in state prison

Up to $25,000

Yes

No

If (1), (2), (3), (5) or (6) above and damage more than $10,000, but less than $100,000

Class 3 Felony

2 to 5 years in state prison

Up to $25,000 or equal to the value of damage

Yes

No

If (1), (2), (3), (5) or (6) above and damage more than $10,000, but less than $100,000 and Damage occurs to:

  • School
  • Place of Worship
  • Farm equipment
  • Property that honors police officers, fire fighters, armed forces members or veterans

Class 2 Felony

3 to 7 years in state prison

Up to $25,000 or equal to the value of damage

Yes

No

If (1), (2), (3), (5) or (6) above and damage more than $100,000

Class 2 Felony

3 to 7 years in state prison

Up to $25,000 or equal to the value of damage

Yes

No

If (1), (2), (3), (5) or (6) above and damage more than $100,000 and Damage occurs to:

  • School
  • Place of Worship
  • Farm equipment
  • Property that honors police officers, fire fighters, armed forces members or veterans

Class 1 Felony

4 to 15 years in state prison

Up to $25,000 or equal to the value of damage

Yes

No

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James A. Payonk, Jr.

~ Attorney at Law ~

10705 W 159th St.
Orland Park, Illinois 60467

(708) 633-6005