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What is the definition of Destruction of Property? How does my college or university define this?

Universities define destruction of property as damaging or ruining any University property or the property of others, or the unauthorized use or entry of University property or facilities. This may include damage to a dormitory room doors, walls and/or loss of library books, misuse of university computers, etc.

In Washington D.C., destruction of property includes destroying, injuring, defacing, burning or vandalizing someone else’s property, both intentionally and unintentionally.

What are the consequences of being accused of Destruction of Property?

Depending on the specifics of the case, you can legally be charged with either a misdemeanor or felony. Typically, damage greater than $200 worth of property is defined and tried as a felony, and less than $200 is considered a misdemeanor. Both may result in hefty fines and potential jail time, so it is important to contact a criminal defense lawyer who has experience representing college students if you are facing destruction of property charges. Also, first offenders may be able to receive a reduced penalty, so discuss your options with a student defense lawyer if facing legal charges.

What are my university’s consequences for destruction of property?

The consequences for destruction of property on campus will vary depending on the type of damage incurred and the scenario. Minimum sanctions will usually involve the cost of replacement or repairs on the property; other consequences could include loss of privileges to different university facilities or more severe consequences such as loss of housing, suspension, or expulsion. Also, not making end of year payments for damage incurred in your dorm room can lead to a violation of the student code of conduct.

Remember, you may be charged even if it is unintentional. A possible scenario where a college student may face destruction of property charges is unintentionally destroying another student’s home or property while drunk at a party. While a student may think this is funny at the time, the other student whose property is damaged has the ability to press destruction of property charges. If public intoxication or drinking underage plays a part in this scenario, students may find themselves facing more than one university disciplinary offense or legal charge.

If you find yourself facing a university disciplinary hearing or legal case for destruction of property charges and other offenses, it is important to contact an experienced defense attorney who represents college students to help you receive a fair sanction with the least disruption to your education.

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