Criminal mischief involves causing damage or destroying someone else’s property. Examples include vandalism, graffiti, tampering with survey markers or fence lines, keying someone’s car, or damaging public property. The damage doesn’t have to be permanent, and even if something can be repaired easily, someone can still be charged and convicted. The severity of the consequences usually depends on the extent of the damage caused and the value of the property, and what entity owns the property.
Misdemeanor Criminal Mischief:
- Damage Less Than $100: Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500.
- Damage Between $100 and $750: Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
- Damage Between $750 and $2,500: Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail, and a fine of up to $4,000.
Felony Criminal Mischief:
- Damage Between $2,500 and $30,000: Felony punishable by 180 to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Damage Between $30,000 and $150,000 (or if the property is a public utility): Third-degree felony, punishable by two to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Damage of $150,000 or More – Or if the property is somewhere people live (like an apartment or home), and the damage caused a substantial interruption or impairment of public communications, transportation, water, gas, or power supply: Second-degree felony punishable by two to twenty years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
If you or someone you know has been charged with criminal mischief, it’s important to seek assistance from an experienced criminal defense attorney. As if serving time in jail or prison was not difficult enough, the fines can make it extremely challenging to carry on with daily life. Call our office at (806) 372-5711 for a free consultation.