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Under Florida law, criminal mischief (also known as vandalism) is a serious criminal offense that may be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the facts of a particular case. If you are facing a charge of Criminal Mischief in Jacksonville, FL, contact a Jacksonville criminal attorney to discuss your options under Florida law.
Under Florida law, a person commits the offense of criminal mischief if he or she willfully and maliciously injures or damages by any means any real or personal property belonging to another, including, but not limited to, the placement of graffiti thereon or other acts of vandalism thereto.
The offense of criminal mischief is rooted in the common law offense of “malicious mischief.” Wharton's Criminal Law, § 485 (14th ed. 1981). Malicious mischief was codified into Florida Statutes Section 806.13, and eventually relabeled as “criminal mischief.” The offense is commonly referred to in Florida as “vandalism.”
The penalties for criminal mischief in Florida will depend on the value of the property damaged. Where the property damaged is valued at $200 or less, the person commits a second degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days imprisonment. If the value is greater than $200 but less than $1,000, the offense is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year imprisonment. Where the value of the damaged property exceeds $1,000, it is a third degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment.
To prove the crime of criminal mischief at trial, the prosecution must establish the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
There are numerous defenses available for a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer to contest a criminal mischief charge in Jacksonville. Some of the more common defenses include the following:
If you have been arrested for criminal mischief, malicious mischief, or vandalism in Jacksonville, Florida, you should consult with an experienced Jacksonville criminal mischief defense lawyer immediately. There may be defenses available to defeat the charge or mitigate the penalties and consequences you may face. Contact the Jacksonville criminal attorneys at Hussein & Webber, PL for a free consultation.
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