Vandalism is the act of damaging, defacing, or destroying someone else’s property. In California, one of the best examples of vandalism is graffiti. Graffiti is just one example of defacing someone’s property. Under California Penal Code 594 PC, there are many different types of vandalism.
Vandalism may include many different actions, and is not limited to someone’s actions against a public property. Examples of common types of vandalism include:

  • “Keying” someone’s car because you are angry or want revenge
  • During a fight with your spouse, breaking or destroying personal property
  • Carving your name in a tree on public property
  • Spraying graffiti
  • Smashing mailboxes
  • Slashing someone’s tires 

In order for any of these actions to be considered vandalism, the prosecutor must show that you acted maliciously, that you defaced, damaged or destroyed the property, and that the property did not belong to you. If the prosecutor proves these elements and you are convicted, the penalties may include:

  • Jail time ranging from 1-3 years
  • Fines ranging from $1,000 to $50,000
  • Restitution
  • Probation
  • Requirement to clean up the property 

Defenses to Vandalism in California

Vandalism is like other criminal offenses in the fact that you have the right to defend yourself against the charges. At Zarabi Law, we can help you defend your position. We will build a case that argues against the evidence. We will work toward a dismissal or reduction of the charges. Some of the defenses you may be eligible for include:

  • Mistaken identity
  • False accusations
  • Lack of malicious intent
  • You own the property in question
  • You had permission from the property owner

At Zarabi Law, we will build your defense using the best options available. Our goal is to ensure that your legal rights are protected, and that you get the most favorable outcome possible.

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