When you receive a summons to go to court, you most likely have a number of questions. For example, you could find yourself facing a charge of criminal mischief for an act of trespass or vandalism. Perhaps you are accused of spraying paint on someone’s rental property, or denting or destroying a part of the structure. The penalties for criminal mischief vary, just as the charge can range from disorderly persons offense to a third-degree crime. In any event, you need a clear understanding of the severity of the charges against you.
The New Jersey Law Firm of Law Offices of DiFrancia & DeDona P.C. is an experienced team of attorneys devoted to providing the best defense for your charges. We have represented a number of clients charged with criminal mischief. We are equipped to investigate charges to see if they will hold up in court. Meanwhile, we are also prepared to negotiate with the prosecution in discussing penalties and downgrades.
New Jersey Criminal Mischief Lawyers
The law regarding criminal mischief is found at NJSA 2C:17-3. In order for the prosecutor to prove a case of this nature, certain elements are necessary. For one, is there evidence that you purposefully or knowingly damaged someone else’s property? Were the actions reckless?
Rental property is explicitly mentioned in the statutory language regarding criminal mischief. Unfortunately, some charges are actually related to eviction. A landlord may feel that a tenant intentionally damaged property as a form of retaliation. A claim might then be brought for criminal mischief. Some other acts that may be considered criminal mischief include:
- Defacing property with graffiti
- Intentionally breaking windows or doors
- Cutting telephone or cable lines
- Tampering with lights or signs
- Disrupting a grave or crypt
In New Jersey, the penalties for a criminal mischief offense are based on the amount of loss. For example, if the monetary damages exceed $2,000, the penalties for a third-degree offense would apply. You could be facing fines of up to $15,000, as well as up to five years in prison.
Get the Legal Defense You Deserve
While the prosecution is building its case against you for criminal mischief, you need experienced legal advocacy on your side. Get in touch with us today so we can start preparing your defense.