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Changes made to vandalism laws

A new state law is raising the stakes for vandals. Causing more than $5,000 worth of vandalism to a building will no longer be a misdemeanor, it will be a class I felony. With that comes a stricter punishment. Prosecutors say the maximum sentence for the crime used to be about 10 months in prison. The new maximum sentence is almost five years. Prosecutors say increasing the crime to a felony may also make it easier for victims to receive money. Felony domestic violence prosecutor Joy Alford-Brand said, "I don't think it'll be as much a deterrent as much as it's going to affect the victim. The good thing about bumping this type of crime up to a felony is that it's going to be handled in superior court, versus handling it in district court, so there will be a little more control over restitution." The law goes into effect December 1.

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