A review of 5 top Q&As You MUST Know by ➪ Boca Raton ➪
West Palm Beach Criminal Mischief Attorney Josh LeRoy on:
Need help? Use the form below, or read more about West Palm Beach Criminal Attorney Joshua LeRoy, Esq.An experienced West Palm Beach Criminal Mischief Attorney can make all the difference in the world when it comes to your final sentence. The most common charges that fall into the Criminal Mischief category are detailed below:
Table of Contents
- 1 Criminal Mischief & Related Charges
- 2 Before hiring a criminal mischief defense attorney, what should I know about F.S. 806.13 (damage less than $1000)?
- 3 How serious is a Criminal Mischief charge in Palm Beach County?
- 4 Charged? Call West Palm Beach Criminal Mischief Attorney Josh LeRoy Because Experience Wins. Can You Afford to Lose?
Before hiring a criminal mischief defense attorney, what should I know about F.S. 806.13 (damage less than $1000)?To be convicted of criminal mischief (damage less than $1,000), you must intentionally cause damage to someone else’s property. (i.e., vandalism, graffiti, etc.).
The level of the offense charged and, therefore, the severity of the punishment depends entirely on the amount of damage done.
Damage of less than $200 is a 2nd-degree misdemeanor, which could land you up to 60 days in jail, and $500 in fines.
Between $200 and $1000 in damage is a first-degree misdemeanor, which could get you to 364 days in prison and up to $1000 in fines.
Causing damage greater than $1,000 is a 3rd-degree felony, which could result in up to 5 years in prison and up to $5k in fines.
In addition to your sentence and fines, when convicted of criminal mischief, community service hours can accompany the punishment. If you face a charge of criminal mischief, you have options and defenses to your case, depending on the specific details of your case.
Contact us to discuss your options to prevent a guilty plea and conviction.
The damage created wasn’t intentional. Can I still be convicted?
In some cases, yes. To prove criminal mischief, the State doesn’t need to prove the defendant intentionally meant to cause damage.
Do they have a criminal mischief case against me if there was no real damage?
The Law requires property damage to be proven to have a criminal mischief case. It is also necessary that the defendant, and only the defendant, cause the alleged damage to the property.
How serious is a Criminal Mischief charge in Palm Beach County?According to Florida law, a person is guilty of the crime of “Criminal Mischief” if they “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.”
In other words, “criminal mischief” is the willful, malicious destruction of another person’s property, and even scrawling graffiti on the wall of a building can be considered a criminal act.
What sort of defenses would an experienced criminal mischief attorney use?
If the State is prosecuting you for criminal mischief, the State must show beyond all reasonable doubt that you caused the damage “maliciously.”
One way a criminal mischief defense attorney can win the case is by presenting evidence that you did not do it out of malice.
But keep the following in mind: you, as the criminal defendant, do not have to present any evidence; it is the State’s burden to prove you are guilty.
So, if the State fails to provide evidence of malice, evidence that is beyond all reasonable doubt, you cannot be lawfully convicted of the crime.
But even if the State offers such evidence in the form of testimony from a witness against you, your attorney can still win the case by showing that the testimony is unreliable for some reason; for example, that the witness has the motive to lie, or that the witness’s memory is mistaken.
Thus, to win your case, a skilled criminal mischief defense attorney will not try prove you are innocent. Instead, by carefully studying the facts and the Law, a good criminal mischief attorney will try to show that reasonable doubt, or better yet, several reasonable doubts exist in the State’s prosecution.
What are the penalties for misdemeanor and felony criminal mischief in Palm Beach County?
The penalty for criminal mischief varies depending on the value of the damage caused:
- Damage of $200 or less is a 2nd-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a term or probation or up to sixty days in jail.
- Damage more significant than $200 but less than $1000 is a 1st-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a term of probation of up to one year in jail.
- Damage more significant than $1000 is a 3rd-degree felony, punishable by a term of probation of up to five years in prison.
But there are other kinds of damage that, if caused by criminal mischief, Florida law classifies as a third-degree felony, for example, interruption of a business or public service or causing damage to a church, a synagogue, or a mosque.
In addition, the State can impose special punishments when they convict a minor of criminal mischief, such as suspension of the minor’s privilege of obtaining a driver’s license.
Charged? Call West Palm Beach Criminal Mischief Attorney Josh LeRoy Because Experience Wins. Can You Afford to Lose?
If you, or someone you know, need a Criminal Mischief Attorney in West Palm Beach (Palm Beach County from Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Lake Worth, and up to Jupiter), or any of the surrounding areas, use the form below to drop me a note.
Tell me about yourself, what’s happened, and when would be a good time to contact you.
-Joshua LeRoy, Esq.
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