When a person hears the term criminal mischief, they may wonder what the person is referring to. Mischief is often associated with a young child, as when a person says, “Isn’t he or she mischievous?”, before laughing. However, mischief in the legal sense is more serious. The term criminal mischief refers to an act in which one individual damages the personal property of another and is often called vandalism. The extent of the damage is not significant, as it is the act alone that makes it a crime. A Criminal Law Lawyer provides more information on this illegal behavior.
In order to be charged with this crime, the individual must have acted intentionally. Accidents happen and property may be damaged in this situation, but it doesn’t rise to the level of a crime. The person must know their behavior may lead to another person’s property being damaged and engage in that behavior. Accidentally breaking a person’s window while playing baseball with children isn’t criminal mischief, but walking up and breaking a neighbor’s window with a bat is, as the act was done to cause damage in the second situation.
Each state determines what constitutes criminal mischief. In some states, infecting a person’s computer with a virus falls under this classification, and other states declare setting off a smoke bomb in a pubic location falls under this crime. Furthermore, a person may engage in reckless behavior, such as setting off fireworks in a busy neighborhood, and be charged with a crime if the fireworks damage a person’s property. For this reason, any person charged with criminal mischief should obtain an attorney immediately to help craft a defense.
Addair Thurston Chtd. works with individuals every day who have been charged with criminal mischief or another crime. He understands the consequences can be severe and works to ensure the defendant’s constitutional rights are protected at all times. People make mistakes and often their actions aren’t the result of criminal intent. He fights to ensure they face the least penalties possible in this situation, as everyone deserves representation when facing jail time, fines, and more. He is ready to help.