Graffiti Lawyers

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What Is Graffiti?

Generally, graffiti is any writing, drawing, or symbol applied to any surface of private or public property without the property owner’s consent. Although graffiti is most commonly associated with spray paint, it can consist of any mark, such as carving into a public bench or drawing on the side of a house with a pen.

Graffiti is often criminalized as a form of vandalism.

What Is Vandalism?

Vandalism is a type of property crime that involves damaging or destroying the property of another. This particular crime is usually done willfully. In addition to graffiti, other forms of vandalism are:

What  Are the Punishments for Graffiti Vandalism?

The crime of graffiti vandalism has strict punishments for those who are convicted of defacing the property of others. Vandalism can be penalized as a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the state, monetary value of the damage, age of the defendant, and other factors such as gang association. If a person is convicted of vandalism, they could be punished with mandatory community service, fines, and/or prison time. The exact sentence often depends upon the cost of the damage inflicted.

For example, in California, if the graffiti creates more than $400 damage, then the defendant could be charged with a fine of $10,000. But if the amount of damages is less than $400, then the fine cannot be more than $1,000.

Punishments for graffiti also may vary on other factors, such as:

Does It Matter If Graffiti Has Been in Place for a Long Time?

If the artwork has been in place for a significant amount of time, the defendant could have a case that a property owner cannot deface their artwork. However, the success of this claim will depend greatly on the laws of the area in which the graffiti is located.

Are There Any Defenses for a Graffiti Vandalism Charge?

There are several defenses available to someone who is charged with graffiti vandalism. The most common defenses are:

Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you are trying to defend against a vandalism charge, you may need a criminal defense lawyer to help you navigate the legal system. If you are trying to preserve your artwork you definitely need a graffiti removal lawyer to help you understand the relevant state statutes and cases in order to preserve your work.

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Last Modified: 08-22-2016 02:10 PM PDT

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