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Explaining What Criminal Mischief is and How it is Defined

Maybe you have been caught committing the crime of criminal mischief. In some instances, criminal mischief is also known as vandalism. Both, however, implies the willful and malicious destruction of another's property. What you will be charged will depend on the level of destruction to the property. If you want to know more about how a criminal lawyer in West Palm Beach handles criminal mischief, please read on.


Facts About Criminal Mischief

Elements of Criminal Mischief 

According to a criminal lawyer in West Palm Beach, to be convicted of the crime of criminal mischief, the following must be present:

  • Prosecutor must show proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused committed damage to property
  • Destruction of the property was done with both willful and malicious intent
  • Damaged property belongs to another individual

The essential element of the crime is willful and malicious intent to damage another's property. There must be no excuse or legal justification to negate the act. Additionally, a criminal lawyer in West Palm Beach must prove that the act was made to know that damage or injury can be caused.

Criminal Mischief Penalties

As stated earlier, the penalty for criminal mischief differs depending on the level of damage caused to the property. However, the following are the amount of damage to the property with the corresponding penalty:

  • $200 or less – imprisonment for up to 60 days and a fine
  • More than $200 but less than $1000 – imprisonment of at least one year and a fine
  • More than $1000 – imprisonment of at least five years and a fine

Criminal Mischief Defenses

In case you've been charged with this crime, your criminal lawyer in West Palm Beach will build your case based on the facts and law of the case. Your lawyer may put up the following defenses:

  • The destruction of the property was due to self-defense
  • Your act did not amount to the damage of the property
  • There is a legal excuse or justification for your act
  • The offended party is not the actual owner of the damaged property

Get a Criminal Lawyer in West Palm Beach

Whatever state you're in, it is important that you have a phone number of a lawyer. In this way, you'll have someone to call when things turn bad. Contact David Olson Law today

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