Vandalism is a crime that comes with a huge price tag for the accused. It can also include a lengthy jail sentence. Anything seemingly innocent, such as graffiti, to share your artistic talent may put you in a courtroom because you don’t have the building owner’s permission.
In a nutshell, vandalism is the damage or destruction of someone else’s property. There are five important details regarding these cases that can make a significant difference.
There has to be an intention:
You were mowing the lawn one day, and the mower launched a stone that broke your neighbor’s window. This is classified as an accident, and insurance companies solve the issue. However, if you threw the rock on purpose, it’s considered vandalism because you clearly demonstrated the intention of mutilating your neighbor’s property.
The greater the damage, the longer the sentence:
Prosecutors will calculate the costs of the damages and press charges according to the amount. Even damages of less than $400, like small scrapes on a car with a sharp object or keying, are enough to imprison someone for up to a year and charge them a $1,000 fine.
Possessing vandalism materials is against the law:
Unless you are authorized to have them, materials such as etching cream, glass drills, and chisels are prohibited. This is usually charged as a misdemeanor.
It can be considered a hate crime:
Acts of vandalism to cemeteries and places of worship, such as churches, are seen as attempts to threaten someone else’s freedom of thought. Due to the seriousness of the actions, the accused will be charged with a felony.
Parents must respond:
A lot of minors face juvenile vandalism charges, and parents are not immune to the consequences. They have to pay the fines and, depending on the case, repair the damages.
This is the type of case that cannot be given to any attorney. You need a skilled lawyer to achieve the fairest outcome possible by negotiating with the judge. Our law office in Los Angeles has experience reducing and dismissing the charges in complex vandalism cases. Contact Zarabi Law today for a free consultation.