Chances are you have some degree of familiarity with the term “vandalism”. “Criminal mischief”, on the other hand, may seem vague. In its simplest terms, criminal mischief is a form of vandalism, just like vandalism can be deemed criminal mischief. Florida’s criminal statute generally defines criminal mischief as intentional and malicious behavior intended to destroy the personal or real property of another party. Because it is so common, graffiti is closely intertwined with criminal mischief charges, as the simple act of spraying a can of paint onto a property may be interpreted as being sufficient to “destroy” the property.
Should criminal mischief result in property damages valued at no more than $200, or if it causes under that amount in total damage, then it may lead to a second-degree misdemeanor in Florida. The charge may be upgraded to a first-degree misdemeanor should the damage be greater than $200 but remains under $1,000. Misdemeanor charges may result in receiving a one year jail sentence and the alleged perpetrator(s) may receive a fine of anywhere between $500 to $1,000. Furthermore, a judge may order that the property owner be repaid for the destroyed property’s value.
This update is published by The Law Offices of Mark Eiglarsh, a Miami criminal defense lawyer. Areas of practice include criminal defense, white collar crimes, drug crimes, fraud, DUI, sex crimes, domestic violence, and more. With over two decades of experience, Mark is committed to obtaining the best possible outcome for his valued clients under difficult circumstances. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call 954-500-0003 in Broward or 305-674-0003 in Miami.