We have all had that fear when staying in hotel rooms: what if I break something accidentally? How much will I end up paying?
However, what happens if someone trashes a hotel room? Or what happens if a hotel room under your name gets trashed?
Would you be surprised to know you could be facing up to five years in prison?
This is what a Georgia woman is facing. According to MLive, 35-year-old Crista E. Kessinger of Atlanta was staying at an Econo Lodge in Bay City, Michigan on October 22, 2017.
Someone called the Sheriff’s Department reporting violent clamor coming from Kessinger’s room.
When officers arrived, Kessinger allowed them into her room. According to the pictures – it looked pretty demolished the room when she was done with it.
Making everything more complicated was the fact that she had a couple of vicious pit bulls in her room. One dog had to be darted with a tranquilizer.
Malicious Destruction of Property Charges
The charge against Kessinger in Michigan is malicious destruction of property. The amount of damage done was between $1,000 and $20,000, which makes it a felony. A conviction could send her to prison in Michigan for much longer than she was planning to stay.
To prove malicious destruction of property, it has to be shown that you intended to destroy the property and it wasn’t as a result of an accident.
Penalties for Malicious Destruction of Property in Michigan
According to Michigan Penal Code Section 750.377a, property damage is charged as the willful and malicious destruction of property or MDOP. Depending on the value of the damage and the defendant’s prior convictions, this offense may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.
If you have no prior convictions of this nature and the value of the damage is less than $200, you can be sentenced to 93 days in jail and a fine of $500 or three times the value of the damage – whichever is higher.
If you do have a prior conviction of this nature or if the value of the damage is $200 or more, but less than $1,000, you can be sentenced to one year in jail and a fine of $2,000 or three times the value of the damage – whichever is greater
If the value is between $1,000 but less than $20,000 or you have one or more prior convictions of this nature, you can be sentenced to up to 5 years in prison and a fine of $10,000 or three times the value – whichever is greater.
If the value is $20,000 or more or you have 2 or more prior MDOP convictions, you can be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $15,000 or three times the value of the property you damaged – whichever is more.
Finally, if the damage was done to a hotel room in your name, you could be facing these charges as well. For example, if you threw a party and your guests got out of hand.
However troubled you are at any given time, it’s not a good idea to take out your rage on the property of others. Even though you didn’t do violence to any person, you might still be facing quite a bit of jail or prison time.
If you are facing charges of this nature, it is critical that you seek the counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.
Contact The David J. Kramer Law Firm, PLLC today.