While the title of criminal mischief may not sound serious, this type of charge can result in numerous problems for the accused. As an overview, criminal mischief is charged to punish someone who intentionally damages the property of another person. There are four different levels of criminal mischief that a person can be charged with, ranging from a class A misdemeanor to a class B felony. Call now to speak with one of our experienced New York criminal defense attorneys to discuss what options you have facing these charges.
The least serious charge of criminal mischief is in the fourth degree, but multiple offenses can lead to this one charge. Most simply, if a person acts intentionally, while having no right to, to damages the property of another person, they can be charged with criminal mischief in the fourth. Other actions that may lead to this same charge are if they participate in the destruction of an abandoned building, again only if they have no right to do so or no reasonable belief that they would have a right to do so, or if they act in a way that recklessly damages the property of someone else causing more than $250 worth of damage.
Another way to be charged with criminal mischief in the fourth is by preventing someone from requesting emergency assistance from law enforcement, police, fire or emergency medical services or another person who would be able to then communicate with such services for them Each of these actions could lead to a fine of up to $1000, as well as up to a year jail sentence. Even the least serious charge should not be taken lightly and you should reach out now to our team of experienced New York criminal defense attorneys to discuss strategies against these charges.
If you are charged with criminal mischief in the first, second, or third degree, the charges are now a felony and can result in one to 25 years jail sentence depending on the degree of the charge. For the third degree, if in damaging the property of another person, they damage a motor vehicle by breaking in with intent to steal and have also been convicted three or more separate times of criminal mischief in any degree, you may be sentenced to a year in jail if convicted.
If the damage that occurs is over $1,500, you may be charged with a class D felony, which can result in a minimum of three years in jail. The most serious charge of criminal mischief occurs when a person damages property they have no right to by using an explosive. The addition of the explosive device can result in charges that if convicted lead to a maximum sentence of 25 years in jail. Any degree of charge for criminal mischief is incredibly serious and the sooner our team of experienced New York criminal defense attorneys can begin working on a defense to these charges, the better. Give us a call today to begin discussing your case.