It could have been a prank or dare among friends or an argument that got out of hand but the bottom line is that damage to property of another results in the criminal offense of criminal mischief. The law does not care if the damaged property is private, public, or even if it appears to be abandoned. Criminal mischief, which is commonly referred to as vandalism, carries serious penalties which can vary in degree and severity depending on what kind of property was damaged and its monetary worth. If you have been charged or arrested for criminal mischief it is essential that you hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer. The attorneys at the Law Offices of John F. Marshall possess over 100 years of combined experience and represent clients accused of criminal mischief throughout Mercer County and surrounding areas including West Windsor, Hamilton, Ewing, Lawrenceville, East Windsor, Trenton, Princeton and Robbinsville. We are typically able to get the criminal mischief downgraded to a municipal ordinance, or dismissed altogether. Contact us today at (609) 683-8102 to speak will one of lawyers on consultation about your case for absolutely free.NJ Criminal Mischief Law
The New Jersey law for criminal mischief is designed to be overly broad and in order to encompass and wife range of criminal conduct involving damage or interference with another person’s property. A large amount of criminal mischief cases we handle involve breaking windows, slashing tires, spray painting, and throwing eggs. It is common for criminal mischief to be ancillary charge to Burglary or Defiant Trespass given the nature of the crime. In order to be found guilty of criminal mischief the court must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant caused the damage to the property on purpose or that the damage was caused recklessly or negligently the fire or explosives. The degree of the offense is determined by the kind of property damaged and the amount of monetary damage suffered. Criminal mischief will normally be a disorderly persons offense as long as the damage to the property is under $500 or if the damage is considered nominal and cannot be determined. If the damage exceeds $500 but is less than $2,000 or if public gas, oil, water lines, or telephone wires are tampered with then you will be charged as a fourth degree criminal mischief. The charge of criminal mischief will be escalated to a third degree felony if the damage to the property is $2,000 or more . In certain exceptional circumstances you can be charged with second degree criminal mischief if you tampered with public services and the damage or interruption of the services caused a death.Trenton Criminal Mischief Defense Attorney
Criminal mischief, even as a disorderly persons offense, is a crime charge which will result in a permanent criminal record, possible jail, prison time or probation, and restitution. This is why it is important to speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney before doing anything. Our firm has successfully handled thousands of cases and we look forward to helping you out of this unfortunate predicament. We are constantly in court defending our clients against accusations of criminal mischief and vandalism and our clients are nearly always able to walk away with no criminal conviction. If you are interested in our firm helping you with your case, we would be happy to speak with you so give us a call at (609) 683-8102.