Criminal mischief in New York is one of the non-violent, property-related charges that New York criminal defense attorneys address the most frequently. For breaking New York Penal Law section 145.12, which ranges in severity from an “A” misdemeanor to a “B” felony, the penalty may be as “little” as up to one year in jail or as much as 25 years in state prison.
In general, you have committed Criminal Mischief if you willfully damage property without authorization or authority, or if you do so without having any grounds to believe you have such a right. In some cases, even intentionally causing property damage is illegal.
The minor offense of Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree under New York Penal Law 145.00 serves as the legal foundation for all criminal mischief offenses from New York City to Westchester County and beyond.
Criminal Mischief In The Fourth Degree: – NEW YORK PENAL LAW 145.00
If you intentionally damage someone else’s property, regardless of the cost of the damage, or if you help demolish an abandoned building, or if you recklessly damage someone else’s property in excess of $250, you are guilty of criminal mischief in the fourth degree.
The type of property is irrelevant, just like other felonies involving criminal mischief, thus you might destroy someone’s clothing, television, or cell phone. The intention is to do this harm without having received consent.
An “A” misdemeanor under NY Penal Law § 145.00 carries a maximum one-year prison sentence. If a first-time offender is apprehended for this crime and it is not related to graffiti, they may be given a New York City Desk Appearance Ticket.
Crimes Associated With Criminal Mischief In New York State
Because Criminal Mischief is a property crime, typical offenses that are charged with it are as follows:
- Making Graffiti
- Criminal Possession of Graffiti Instruments
- Auto Stripping
In addition to these crimes, Criminal Mischief often “rears its head” in the domestic violence context.
Potential Defenses To Criminal Mischief In New York State
There is no “one size fits all” criminal defense in New York, but skilled criminal defense lawyers there know what to look for in any case. For instance, did the prosecution specify how the property was actually destroyed, or did the complaint against you simply indicate that there was “damage”? Is there a case before the Grand Jury involving facial deficiency or something similar?
What if ownership of the property was shared? Can you still receive a criminal mischief conviction? Did you have a good cause to think you had authorization to harm the property, even if you didn’t? If so, what proves that these grounds exist? These are just a few topics and inquiries you should review with your New York criminal defense attorneys as you examine your case and weigh the available evidence.
Hiring A New York Lawyers For Criminal Mischief Case
Hiring a New York lawyer for a criminal mischief case is an important decision that can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. Criminal mischief is a serious criminal offense in New York. The consequences of a conviction can be severe, including fines, jail time, and a criminal record that can affect your future employment opportunities.
When hiring a New York lawyer for a criminal mischief case, it is important to find an experienced and knowledgeable attorney who is familiar with New York criminal law and has a track record of successfully representing clients in similar cases. Look for a lawyer who has experience handling criminal cases in the specific court where your case will be heard.
A good criminal mischief lawyer will be able to analyze the evidence against you, develop a strong defense strategy, and advocate for your rights in court. They will also be able to negotiate with the prosecutor on your behalf to reduce the charges or penalties you face potentially.
In addition to legal expertise, it is important to find a lawyer who you feel comfortable working with and who is responsive to your questions and concerns. You will be working closely with your lawyer throughout your case, so it is crucial to have a good working relationship with them.