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Criminal Mischief

Criminal Mischief And Vandalism Defense Attorney

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 your or your child’s rights are protected. Criminal defense attorney Waren Price at The Price Firm, PLLC, will fight to ensure that those rights are protected and that you receive the aggressive representation you need.

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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, then the level of the offense can be as low as a Class C misdemeanor. As the amount of damage increases, so does the severity of the offense. Where the amount of the loss exceeds $2,500 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 (up to a $500 fine)
  • $100 to less than $750 (up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine)
  • $750 to less than $2,500 (up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine)
  • $2,500 to less than $30,000 (up to two years in state jail and a $10,000 fine)
  • $30,000 to less than $150,000 (up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine)
  • $150,000 to less than $300,000 (up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine)
  • $300,000 or more (up to 99 years or life in prison and a $10,000 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 a 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. The defense attorney at The Price Firm, PLLC, has helped many clients facing this same type of charge. Let criminal defense lawyer Waren Price defend you and ensure that your rights are protected.

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