New York Penal Law § 145.10 – Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree
Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree, like all criminal mischief offenses, is a property crime prohibiting the intentional and unlawful destruction of property. Specifically, prosecutors bring these charges when they believe that you intentionally caused damage in excess of $1,500 to another’s property. Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree is a Class D felony.What Are the Elements of Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree?
All are made up of certain elements. It is the prosecution’s burden to prove each element of an offense beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution fails to do so, the judge or jury must acquit the defendant.
The elements of Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree are:
- The defendant caused $1,500 worth of damage to another’s property;
- The defendant intended to damage the property; and
- The defendant had no legal right to do so and did not have a reasonable belief they were entitled to do so.
Some common examples of Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree include the following:
- An embittered homeowner intentionally destroys $4,000 of damage to their neighbor’s property by destroying their landscaping;
- A man who finds out his partner is cheating on him with a friend slashes all four tires on his friend’s vehicle, causing $1,550 in damage;
- A woman gets passed over for a promotion and causes $1,700 in damage to her boss’s vehicle by breaking all of its windows.
Often, prosecutors bring Criminal Mischief in the 2nd Degree charges along with one or more of the following:
- Possession of Graffiti Instruments – NY Penal Law § 145.65
- Reckless Endangerment of Property – NY Penal Law § 145.25
- Criminal Tampering in the Third Degree – NY Penal Law § 145.14
- Criminal Tampering in the Second Degree – NY Penal Law § 145.15
- Criminal Tampering in the First Degree – NY Penal Law § 145.20
- Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree – NY Penal Law § 145.00
- Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree – NY Penal Law § 145.05
- Criminal Mischief in the First Degree – NY Penal Law § 145.12
There are several defenses to Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree. A successful defense may reduce your sentencing exposure, result in the prosecution withdrawing the case against you, or prompt the jury to return a “not guilty” verdict. The most common defenses include the following:
- You had a legal right to damage or destroy the property (i.e., you caused damage to your own property or you had the rightful owner’s permission);
- You truly thought that you had a right to damage or destroy the property (i.e., you intended to destroy property belonging to you, or you thought you had the owner’s permission);
- While you caused more than $1,500 in damage to another’s property, it was due to an accident; and
- While you intentionally damaged property, the amount of damage caused was less than $1,500.
Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree is considered a Class D felony. In New York, Class D felony offenses are punishable by a maximum sentence term of up to seven years in prison as well as a fine of as much as $5,000.Are You Looking for an Experienced Defense Lawyer to Help You Fight a Criminal Mischief Case?
If you’ve been charged with the destruction of property in New York, it is important you take steps now to protect your interest. One of the most important decisions you will make regarding your case is which criminal defense law firm you select to represent you. At Tilem & Associates, P.C., we are passionate about defending the rights and freedoms of our clients and will not rest until we’ve done everything possible to ensure your case ends in the best result possible. We are immediately available to meet with you to get started working on a compelling defense to the charges you face. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call 877-377-8666. You can also reach us through our online contact form.