Illinois Criminal Defacement of Property

The Law – 720 ILCS 5/21-1.3

A person commits Criminal Defacement of Property when the person knowingly damages the property of another without his or her consent by defacing, deforming, or otherwise damaging the property by the use of paint or any other similar substance, or by the use of a writing instrument, etching tool, or any other similar device.

Criminal Defacement of Property is the common charge in cases involving graffiti, whether the graffiti is applied to private or public property. In addition to covering graffiti, the offense covers the damage of property by any other writing instrument, including carvings or etching. The law prohibits the above actions regardless of whether or not the damage is permanent or removable. The law also requires that the Courts order a person convicted of Criminal Defacement of Property to pay for any repairs or removal of the defacement and to complete up to 120 hours of community service.

The Sentence

CLASS A MISDEAMENOR IF:

  1. A first offense

    AND

  2. The damage does not exceed $500.

  • Up to 364 days in county jail
  • Fine of up to $2,500

Probation Possible? – Yes.

Supervision Possible? – Yes.

CLASS 4 FELONY IF:

  1. The damaged property is a school building, place of worship or if property memorializes or honors police officers, fire fighters, members of the armed forces or veterans.

    AND

    The damage does exceed $500;

    OR

  2. If it is a second or subsequent offense.

    OR

  3. The damage exceeds $500.

  • 1 to 3 years in state prison
  • Fine of up to $25,000

Probation Possible? – Yes.

Supervision Possible? – No.

CLASS 3 FELONY IF:

  1. The damaged property is a school building, place of worship or if property memorializes or honors police officers, fire fighters, members of the armed forces or veterans.

  2. AND

  3. The damage exceeds $500.

  • 2 to 5 years in state prison
  • Fine of up to $25,000

Probation Possible? – Yes.

Supervision Possible? – No.

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