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Criminal Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale

Criminal Mischief Attorney

Criminal mischief (sometimes referred to as vandalism) is a serious criminal offense that may be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the facts of a particular case.

Pursuant to Florida Statute 806.13:

“A person commits the offense of criminal mischief if he or she willfully and maliciously injures 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.”

To prove the crime of Criminal Mischief, the State must prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused injured or damaged real or personal property.
  2. The property injured or damaged belonged to the victim.
  3. The injury or damage was done willfully and maliciously.

“Willfully” means intentionally, knowingly, and purposely.

“Maliciously” means wrongfully, intentionally, without legal justification or excuse, and with the knowledge that injury or damage will or may be caused to another person or the property of another person.

Penalties

If the damage caused is $200.00 or less, the criminal mischief is considered a second degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail.

If the damage is valued at over $200.00, but less than $1000.00, the criminal mischief is considered a first degree misdemeanor punishably by up to a year in jail.

If the damage is $1000.00 or over, the criminal mischief is charged as a third degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in Florida State Prison. 

If you are arrested for criminal mischief, you should consult with an experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney.  For a free consultation, contact David J. Sobel directly 24/7 at 954-383-3000.