In order to commit criminal mischief, a person must purposely and with intent injure someone or damage property. According to our Broward County Criminal Attorneys, an example of criminal mischief is putting graffiti on someone else’s property.
If the damage from the criminal mischief you created is less than $200, it is considered a second-degree misdemeanor and is punishable by imprisonment up to 60 days and/or a fine of up to $500.If the damage is between $200 and $1,000, it is considered a first-degree misdemeanor and punishable by up to one year imprisonment and/or a $1,000 fine.
“Criminal mischief can even be classified as a felony, depending on the amount of damage and what is damaged.” – Attorney William Moore
If any business or public service (communications, transportation, water, gas or power supply) or any other public service is damaged, and the labor is more than $1,000, you could be charged with a third-degree felony.
The Lawyers from our Broward County Office warn that if you have previous convictions under the criminal mischief statute, you may be charged with a third-degree felony instead of a misdemeanor. Delray Beach is especially tough on repeat offenders for vandalism. If you deface, injure or damage any place of worship, including but not limited to churches, synagogues, and mosques – or any articles contained within such place of worship – you may be charged with a third-degree felony, if the damage is over $200.
If convicted, you may also be ordered to pay for the damage you created, in addition to imprisonment and fines. If you are convicted of defacing property with graffiti, you may be charged as follows, in addition to any other criminal penalty:
- $250 or more for first conviction
- $500 or more for second conviction
- $1,000 or more for third or subsequent conviction
You may also be required to perform at least 100 hours of community service, involving the removal of graffiti. Criminal michief charges are taken very seriously in states like Florida, handing out some of the strictest sentences in the state.
If you are a minor at the time of your conviction (of criminal mischief by way of graffiti), your parent or legal guardian may get stuck paying the fine. If you are found to be indigent, or otherwise do not have the ability to pay the fine, the Court may waive the fine. If you are a minor with a driver’s license, you may have your license revoked for up to one year. You may be able to reduce the term of suspension at the rate of one day for each hour of community service performed.