What Is Criminal Mischief?

You May Need a West Palm Beach Criminal Attorney

Florida statute 806.13 defines criminal mischief as "willfully and maliciously" injuring or damaging "by any means any real or personal property belonging to another." Common examples of criminal mischief include painting graffiti, vandalizing buildings or vehicles, or any other action which causes damage to another person's possessions. It is a charge which often arises in criminal defense cases in our community, and it may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor crime or a felony crime, depending on the circumstances.

Penalties for Criminal Mischief

The penalties for criminal mischief escalate according to how much damage was caused:

  • Damage less than $200:
    • Second-degree misdemeanor
    • Fines up to $500
    • Up to 60 days in jail
  • Damage between $200 and $1,000:
    • First-degree misdemeanor
    • Fines up to $1,000
    • Up to 1 year in jail
  • Damage in excess of $1,000:
    • Third-degree felony
    • Fines up to $5,000
    • 5 years in prison

If you are found guilty and have previously been convicted of criminal mischief, your sentence may be enhanced from a misdemeanor to a felony. Damage to a place of worship, such as a church or a mosque, will also increase the severity of your conviction. A West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney can meet with you to discuss your specific case and determine the best approach to having the charges dropped or reduced.

Fight Your Charges – Contact a Criminal Lawyer in West Palm Beach

Allegations of criminal mischief put your freedom, your reputation and your future at risk, with the possibility of time in jail or prison and the prospect of having to live with a criminal record. Come to The Law Offices of Phillip T. Ridolfo, Jr. to work with a West Palm Beach criminal lawyer who has the experience and legal skill to fight for your rights. I firmly support my clients throughout the defense process, and I am the only person who will be handling your case. Speak with me before making any statements to the prosecution that could reduce your chances of a successful outcome.

Contact my firm if you have been charged with criminal mischief in the West Palm Beach area.

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