Vandalism is destroying or damaging the property of another. Types of vandalism include tagging and graffiti. But in California, vandalism is a wobbler. Whether it is charged as a misdemeanor or felony depends on the amount of damages caused and if the defendant has a previous history of vandalism.
Vandalism is defined as destroying or damaging property of another, or defacing it with inscribed material. Inscribed material include graffiti.
Graffiti is the unauthorized act of etching, scratching, writing, drawing, painting on real or personal property. The act is committed with intent to commit the act or intent to annoy/injure someone else.
Yes. In California, the law includes a wide variety of act, even scratching a name into another person’s desk.
The charge can be a felony or misdemeanor due to the financial amount of damage caused. A defendant can also be charged according to their previous criminal record.
If the property damage is $400 or less and there’s no prior offense, it’s considered a misdemeanor. It is punishable by up to 1 year in county jail, a fine of up to $1,000 and/or probation. But if there is a prior record for vandalism or graffiti, then the fine can increase up to $5,000.
Vandalism that resulted in of $400 or more in damage can be charged as a felony. The prosecutor will look at the surrounding circumstances of the case and the defendant’s criminal history. The defendant may face probation with up to 1 year in jail, or 16 months to 3 years in prison.
Often, the court will order the offender to personally repair or clean the property damage as part of the punishment.
Yes. Talk to a criminal lawyer immediately about the defenses you can use in your case.
Last Modified: 07-22-2016 02:33 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.