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Legal insights and tips from the veteran Attorney of 40 years.


In 2021, the Kentucky Legislature granted landlords a powerful tool to protect their property.

KRS 512.020 Criminal Mischief in the First Degree was amended to add the following as a crime: ( c) if a person, as a tenant, intentionally or wantonly defaces, destroys, or damages residential rental property causing pecuniary loss of $1,000.00 or more. This is a Class D Felony. When the police tell you this is a civil matter, show them the statute. It is a crime.

If the damage is between $500.00 and $1,000.00, it falls under KRS 512.030, as Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree. This is a Class A Misdemeanor. If the damage is less than $500.00, it is still a crime: KRS 512.040, Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree, a Class B Misdemeanor.

Take photos, document the repair costs, and go to your County Attorney or the Commonwealth Attorney if the police will not investigate.

The Constitution guarantees you the right to appear before the Grand Jury. It is not restricted to just law enforcement.


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For a meeting with one of our lawyers, call our office in Corbin at 606.528.5001. Personal injury and bankruptcy clients are entitled to a free initial consultation. We maintain flexible office hours to accommodate your needs.

Please Note: David Smith, Marcia Smith are independent attorneys with individual areas of practice.