Facing criminal charges for vandalism?
I Was Arrested For Vandalism. What Am I Looking At?
When you are charged with vandalism in California, you are actually charged with Penal Code PC 594. That charge can be charged as a misdemeanor, or a felony, depending on the damage. As you know, prosecutors, the courts, and even the law, all want to show how tough they are against vandalism as part of having a clean community
Alteration of street signs, or keying someone’s car, or putting graffiti or slashing tires can result in vandalism charges.
Is Vandalism a Felony or a Misdemeanor?
Vandalism can be an Infraction
If you have defaced the property of another, the damage is less than $250, and you have not previously been convicted for vandalism, you may be charged with an infraction. You may be fined up to a maximum of $1,000 and will probably be required to do some community service. The court may also order you to keep specified property in the community free of graffiti for up to 180 days.
Vandalism can also be a Misdemeanor
If you are convicted of maliciously defacing, damaging, or destroying less than $400 of property of another, you can be convicted of misdemeanor vandalism. A sentence for misdemeanor vandalism generally consists of up to three years informal probation, up to one year of county jail, up to $1,000 fine, a one year suspension of your driver’s license , counseling and/or community service, and personally cleaning, repairing, replacing, or cleaning the damaged property or keeping specified property in the community free of graffiti for up to a year.
Vandalism can also be a Felony when damages are above $400
When the damages to the vandalized property are $400 or more, the prosecutor has the option of charging the crime as either a felony or misdemeanor. Consideration will be given to the circumstances of the crime and your personal criminal history to make this determination.
In addition, even if the damage to the property is less than $400, you may be charged with a felony under certain circumstances, such as if you commit a hate crime.
A felony conviction will subject a person to the terms described above, as well as a state prison sentence of 16 months, two, or three years, a fine of up to $10,000, and formal probation.
The law has a maximum (one year in jail if a misdemeanor, and three years in state prison, and fines and fees that total $5000) and a minimum (probation, and base fines of $390). There is also a mandatory license suspension for vandalism cases if convicted.
The solution – why you need Orange County Vandalism Attorneys
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