Criminal Mischief & Vandalism

Criminal mischief is the act of willingly committing malicious damages or injuries to another person's real or personal property including vandalism and placement of graffiti. In Florida, a person is charged with a second degree misdemeanor if the damages to the property is $200 or less. A criminal mischief conviction can mean jail time, probation, fines, as well as payment of damages. Contacting an experienced Tampa criminal mischief attorney at Pallegar Law, P.A. can help you explore your options and possible defenses to the charge.

A person is charged with a first degree misdemeanor if the damages are $200- $1,000. If a person has a prior conviction of either of the two violations above, the charge will be reclassified as a third degree felony. A person is charged with a third degree felony if the damages are $1,000 or more, or if there happens to be an impairment or interruption of a business, public communication, supply of water, transportation, power, or gas that costs $1,000 or more in supplies in labor to fix.

A person is charged with a third degree felony if he or she maliciously and willfully damages, defaces, or injures any place of worship or any religious article, and the damages are worth more than $200. Destroying, injuring, defacing, and mutilation of any work art displayed in a public building is illegal.

A person is charged with a second degree misdemeanor if the damages done to the art work is $200 or less. A person is charged with a first degree misdemeanor if the damages done to the art work are $200-$1,000. A person is charged with a third degree felony if the damages done to the art work are more than $1,000. A person is charged with a third degree felony if he or she willingly destroys or damages any public telephones, cables, fixtures, wires, amplifiers, antennas, or any other telephone equipment or appliance and the damage makes the public telephone inoperative.

A person is charged with a third degree felony if he or she maliciously and willingly damages, injures, or defaces a sexually violent offender detention facility and the damages are more than $200.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a related crime, it is important that you contact an aggressive Tampa criminal mischief attorney in order to fight the charges. The quicker you act, the quicker we at Pallegar Law, P.A. can get to work resolving your case.

Any person in violation of any of the above offenses will be required to pay for the damages he or she caused. If the offense is related to placement of graffiti, he or she must pay no less than $250 for their first conviction, no less than $500 for their second conviction, and no less than $1,000 for their third or greater conviction. He or she must also serve 40 hours or more of community service and 100 hours or more of community service related to the removal of graffiti.

If any minor is found in violation of willingly committing malicious damages or injuries to another person's real or personal property including vandalism and placement of graffiti, the parent or legal guardian of the minor is responsible, along with the minor, for paying the fine for all damages caused.

If the court finds that the minor is not able to pay the fine whether he or she be indigent or not, the court is able to decline the minor to pay that fine. If any minor is guilty of committing a malicious act involving placement of graffiti on private of public property and the minor has a valid driver license, the court is able to withhold or revoke the minor's driver license for up to one year.

If the minor has a driver license that is already revoked, the court is allowed to extend the period of suspension for up to one year. If the minor does not have a driver license yet, the court will withhold the driver license for up to one year after the date that the minor would have gotten a driver license. If a minor has his or her driver license suspended, revoked, or withheld, he or she may perform community service hours in order to reduce the suspension period.

If the court decides that the minor needs his or her driver license for medical purposes or employment for themselves or a family member, the court will have the minor perform community service to reduce the suspension period. The community service will be at a rate of one day for each hour performed. The community service will include cleaning graffiti from public property.

If you have been charged with a criminal mischief crime, call a knowledgeable Tampa criminal mischief attorney today to get started fighting the charges. Call Pallegar Law, P.A. at 813-444-3912 or 941-893-5816 for help.

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