If you or your child was arrested for damaging another person's property, you may face fines, probation, jail time and conviction for a misdemeanor or felony offense. It is critically important that you or your child's rights are protected. Criminal defense attorney Waren Price will fight to insure that those rights are protected and that you receive the aggressive representation that you need.
*** Payment Plans are Available ***Texas Criminal Mischief Laws
The Texas laws prohibiting criminal mischief and damage to another person's property are contained in Chapter 28 of the Texas Penal Code. Section 28.03 sets out the elements of the offense of Criminal Mischief.
It is a criminal offense to intentionally or knowingly:
- damage another person's tangible property;
- tamper with another person's tangible property and thereby cause monetary loss or substantial inconvenience to the owner; or
- draw or place markings on another person's property.
It is not a criminal offense if the damage was caused with the effective consent of the owner. Whether it is a misdemeanor offense or felony offense is determined primarily by the amount of monetary loss or damage caused to the property.
Common Defenses to Criminal Mischief
Your criminal defense attorney will work with you to identify possible defenses to your charge of Criminal Mischief. The circumstances of your particular case will determine what defenses can be effectively used. The following are some of the more common defenses to an allegation of Criminal Mischief:
- The damage was accidental in nature;
- The value of the property was less than alleged;
- The extent of the damage was exaggerated;
- The alleged offender did not cause the damage;
- The alleged offender had lawful possession of the property;
- The damage occurred with the consent of the owner or a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner;
Penalties for Criminal Mischief
The level of the offense of Criminal Mischief will be determined primarily by the amount of monetary loss to the complainant in your case. If the monetary loss is less than $100.00, then the level of the offense can be as low as a Class C Misdemeanor. As the amount of the damage increases, so does the severity of the offense. Where the amount of the loss exceeds $2,500.00 in value, the offense becomes a felony.
The following are the categories of pecuniary loss and the possible punishment for each:
- $0 to less than $100.00 (up to a $500.00 fine)
- $100.00 to less than $750.00 (up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000.00 fine)
- $750.00 to less than $2,500.00 (up to 1 year in jail and a $4,000.00 fine)
- $2,500.00 to less than $30,000.00 (up to 2 years in state jail and a $10,000.00 fine)
- $30,000.00 to less than $150,000.00 (up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000.00 fine)
- $150,000.00 to less than $300,000.00 (up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000.00 fine)
- $300,000.00 or more (up to 99 years or life in prison and a $10,000.00 fine)
Dismissal or Sentence Reduction
If you are falsely accused of Criminal Mischief or if the evidence fails to prove any part of the offense alleged against you, we want to see your case dismissed. Even in cases where the evidence otherwise indicates that some offense occurred, it is very common that the extent of the damage or value of the loss is exaggerated. Challenging this aspect of the State's case is often an effective basis for a reduction in the level of the offense charged. This can be extremely valuable when the level of the offense is otherwise at or near the lowest felony level and may result in reduction from a felony to a misdemeanor charge. Our experienced criminal mischief defense attorney will work to get your case dismissed or the charges reduced. We want the best outcome possible in your case.An Experienced Criminal Mischief Attorney can Help
If you face charges for Criminal Mischief, we can help. Our defense attorney has helped many clients facing this same type of charge. He can help you. Let criminal defense lawyer Waren Price defend you and insure that your rights are protected.
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