Michigan Malicious Destruction of Property
If you've been charged with Malicious Destruction of Property (MDOP) in Michigan, it's important to speak to an experienced Michigan criminal defense attorney about your case. In order to be found guilty of this offense, the prosecution must prove the following elements:
1- The property belonged to someone other than the defendant
2- The defendant destroyed or damaged the property
3- The defendant did so knowing it was wrong without just cause or excuse, and with intent to damage the property
4- Proving the amount of damage, which will determine what level offense you're charged with
- If the damage is under $200 dollars, you will be charged with a 93 day misdemeanor.
- If the damage is between $200-$1,000 dollars you will be charged with a one year misdemeanor
- If the damage exceeds $1,000, but below $20,000, you will be charged with a felony
- If the damage exceeds $20,000 you will be charged with a more serious felony that carries more jail time
The prosecution will be able to add together numerous incidents if the crime involved the same parties within 12 months. The test for value is "fair market value". This is what is called a specific intent crime, which means if the defendant did not purposely destroy the property, but rather did it by mistake or without intent, the prosecution cannot prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, and the defendant is entitled to a not-guilty verdict.
A Michigan MDOP can usually be negotiated down to a lesser charge if the defendant is willing to reimburse the victim for the damage to their property. It's not uncommon for a felony offense to be reduced to a misdemeanor with full restitution to the victim.
Speak to an experienced Michigan defense attorney about your options. If you believe the property belongs to you rather than the victim, or if you lacked the intent to destroy the property, you may have an excellent defense.
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