Written By: Robert King, Esq.
Legal Review By: Greg Colavecchia, Esq.
Accused of a Crime?
Get a Lawyer Now!

Criminal Mischief Attorney In Rochester, New York

video background

Property Damage Crimes And Vandalism

Criminal mischief is the crime of intentionally damaging or vandalizing the property of another, usually in minimal amounts. Under New York law, criminal mischief can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances, and penalties range from fines and community service to jail or prison time. Depending on what was damaged – public or private property – at the time of your arrest, punishments will vary. If you have been arrested for criminal mischief, it is important that you contact one of our criminal defense lawyers in Rochester today.

This infographic briefly describes criminal mischief and lists the varying degrees of charges for criminal mischief under New York State Law, which is fourth through first degree.

Common Forms Of Criminal Mischief

As the name seems to imply, criminal mischief charges usually arise in cases with young adults and teenagers, as there is typically no “malicious intent” behind the crime. Rather, small acts of vandalism and minimal damages enacted against what is seen as public property make up the majority of criminal mischief incidents.

What most people do not realize is that there is no victimless crime, and if someone is caught in an act of criminal mischief, punishments will be carried out to the extent of the law.

Crimes that fall under criminal mischief that are often overlooked include:

Graffiti art: Perhaps the most common form of criminal mischief, most people fail to realize that graffiti art – or spray paint art – on property that another person owns is vandalism. Many acts of graffiti occur at night in obscure locations where the odds of being caught are minimal. This may have led to the incorrect assumption in the public eye that you can’t or won’t be tried for graffiti vandalism.

Toilet paper vandalism: Using toilet paper to deface someone’s home or property – also known as TPing – can be considered criminal mischief if the extent of the vandalism requires significant time or financial costs to clean.

Municipality damage: Intentional and minimal damage to another person’s property is usually considered a misdemeanor. If the property – a side of a building or a car, for example – is owned by a municipality or federal body, though, even slight vandalism could be considered a felony.

Work With An Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested for criminal mischief, no matter your intentions, early intervention in the criminal process is key. Act now and retain the representation of King Law. Many criminal mischief cases can be dismissed before they even go to trial, depending on the degree of damage, but you will need our help to get to that quick resolution. If you do go to court, however, you can rest easy knowing that an attorney with an impressive record of success is on your side and fighting for you.

If you have been charged with criminal mischief or vandalism crimes in the State of New York, do not hesitate to contact a Rochester criminal lawyer from King Law today. Personalized and free case evaluations are available.