Vandalism at Religious or Cultural Centers

In the state of Wisconsin, there are special legal protections for property that is associated with legally-protected characteristics such as disability, national or racial heritage, sexuality, or religion. If a person damages property that is considered distinctly valuable to a group associated with these traits, the individual may face upgraded vandalism penalties as a result. If arrested, the accused person could face a class I felony charge, which can result in strict punishments if the individual is convicted.

Types of Religious or Cultural Centers

Criminal damage to or graffiti on religious property or property that is associated with a certain group is treated as a very serious crime in Wisconsin, and committing this offense can put a defendant in a position to face the loss of freedom, money, and privileges. Although any type of vandalism is outlawed in Wisconsin, people can face more severe penalties if they are convicted of damaging the following types of property:

  • A religious center of worship
  • A building or piece of property used to memorialize or bury the dead
  • A school or community center used by a legally-protected group

If a person is convicted of a property damage crime against a specially-protected group, he or she may face felony-grade penalties. Conviction can include punishments such as a substantial jail sentence, thousands of dollars in fines, and the permanent loss of certain rights and privileges if the person has a prior felony-grade conviction. These repercussions can seriously impact a person’s professional and personal life.

Contact Us

If you’re facing allegations of damaging or defacing a legally-protected piece of property, you should think carefully about your criminal defense options. With the right strategy in place, you may be able to have sentencing reduced in your case or even have your charges dropped. We may be able to help you through this process. To learn more, contact an attorney from Hart Powell, S.C. today at (414) 271-9595.

Written by Michael Hart & Craig Powell

Last Updated : January 14, 2016