Q: How can my wife be charged with criminal damage, for smashing our own TV? Several months ago, my wife and I got into an argument and she smashed one of our tv’s. The police showed up and arrested her for criminal damage. The state never even filed the charges and now the city is trying to prosecute as a misdemeanor. The tv is our own property, how can she be charged for criminal damage? And as the “victim”, what happens if I don’t want the matter pursued? She is a nursing student and is concerned this will prevent her from becoming a nurse.
A: Your wife may have a valid legal defense to the charge of Criminal Damage; however, an experienced criminal defense attorney should thoroughly review of the evidence against your wife before she makes a decision about how to proceed in her case. The evidence likely conflicts with her defense if the state elected to charge her with the crime. As a victim, I suggest you retain private counsel to fully advise you of your constitutional rights as well as to answer any questions about court procedure. Keep in mind that a conviction for a class one misdemeanor domestic violence offense will result in mandatory fines and counseling, the complete prohibition against the use or possession of firearms, and a possible jail sentence of up to 6 months, among other things. I recommend your wife retain her own private counsel as soon as possible. Good luck.
Kaitlin S. Verdura, Esq.
Verdura Law Group PLLC