Have you been charged with the crime of criminal mischief? If you have been, then you need to understand that it is a crime which is taken very serious by the legal system, and can result in it very stiff penalties in cases of conviction. Criminal mischief is basically causing damage to another person’s property with ill intent.
This type of offense can occur between neighbors, family members, or former friends. Typically, this type of offense can occur when two or more people get into an altercation which escalates into violence. Although this offense does not involve causing bodily harm to an individual, penalties for this offense are still very serious.
Having an experienced attorney working for you is the best way to ensure yourself that you will be able to fight your charges in the best manner possible.
At The Hoffman Firm, Mr. Hoffman can review your case and see if there are points of your charge which can be challenged, and exploit such any points for your defense. Attorney Evan A. Hoffman has the legal background to present your case in the courtroom. He has more than 17 years of experience as a prosecutor and as a defense attorney. He is well prepared to represent you during this difficult time.
If you or your loved one has been charged with criminal mischief, your time to avoid a conviction is extremely limited. Contact The Hoffman Firm at (305) 249-0090 for your free consultation today; your future depends on it. This firm serves clients in North Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and surrounding areas.
What is Criminal Mischief?
Criminal Mischief includes particular acts that involve the intentional and malicious destruction of the personal property of another, and can include graffiti as well as other related acts of vandalism.
Florida code 806.13 defines Criminal Mischief as:
- (1)(a) willful or malicious injuries or damages by any means any real or personal property belonging to another, including, but not limited to, the placement of graffiti thereon or other acts of vandalism thereto.
Penalties for Criminal Mischief in Florida
The penalties for criminal mischief increase based upon the amount of property damage caused. The threshold amounts are:
- First-degree misdemeanor for less than $200,00 in damage;
- First-degree misdemeanor if damages are between $200,00 and $1,000;
- Third-degree felony if damages are more than $1,000.
Penalties for criminal mischief in the form of graffiti are as follows:
- Minimum $250 for a first conviction;
- Minimum $500 for a second conviction; or
- Minimum $1,000 for a third or greater conviction.
(1) Less than $200 in Damage
Criminal mischief which results in less than $200 in damage is classified as a second-degree misdemeanor. For a conviction a judge can impose any combination of the following penalties:
- Up to sixty (60) days in jail.
- Up to six (6) months of probation.
- Up to $500 in fines.
(2) Between $200 and $1,000 in Damage
Criminal mischief which results in more than $200, but less than $1,000 in damage is classified as a first-degree misdemeanor. For a conviction a judge can impose any combination of the following penalties:
- Up to twelve (12) months in jail.
- Up to twelve (12) months of probation.
- Up to $1,000 in fines.
(3) More than $1,000 in Damage
Criminal mischief which results in more $1,000 in damage is classified as a third-degree felony and is assigned a Level 2 offense severity ranking under Florida Law. For a conviction of criminal mischief causing more than $1,000, a judge can impose any combination of the following penalties:
- Up to five (5) years in jail.
- Up to five (5) years of probation.
- Up to $5,000 in fines.
In the event that the convicted party is a minor, both the guardians and the minor are liable for any fines associated with the damaged property.
More Information on Criminal Mischief
Online Sunshine- This state website offers complete statutes on criminal mischief and the resulting penalties.
The Florida Senate- This state resource offers a detailed summary of Florida’s laws on criminal mischief and related property crimes.
Whether your actions arose out of a heated argument, or you feel that you were justified in your actions, criminal mischief is a charge which should never be taken lightly. It’s impossible to overstate the importance of having an attorney working for you when facing charges of criminal mischief.
To avoid having this type of offense on your record, you need a criminal defense attorney who knows the ins and outs of the courtroom. Evan Hoffman offers a free initial consultation, so you have nothing to lose by giving The Hoffman Firm a call at (305) 249-0090 today. Someone on the legal team is standing by ready to help.
This firm takes clients in North Miami, Palm Beach, and the neighboring regions.