Vandalism is a property crime that involves intentionally damaging or destroying another person’s property. Examples of vandalism include graffiti and tagging, breaking into vending machines, egging houses, slashing tires, and gluing locks.
I’m a Victim of Vandalism. Should I Bring Criminal Charges?
If you are the victim of vandalism, you should call the police and file a report. In some jurisdictions, someone who commits multiple acts of vandalism may receive a higher sentence, so it is important to file charges even if you do not believe a vandal will be caught.
After filing a police report, the government will decide whether or not to file criminal charges against the person, which may lead to a trial.
Can I Recover in Civil Court?
Depending on the situation, you may be able to recover in civil court. You may be able to sue the vandal under civil tort law for trespass, conversion, larceny, etc. If your property was damaged to the point that you can no longer use it, you may be able to recover the cost of the property. The court may take into account whether or not the vandal paid for the property as part of his or her criminal punishment.
Can I Get Insurance to Protect My Property from Vandalism?
Property insurance pays for financial losses related to the insured property. Many different types of homeowner's insurance cover vandalism, but you may have to specifically name the vandalized property in the insurance coverage.
Seeking Legal Help
If you are a victim of vandalism, you should call the police. If there is sufficient evidence, the vandal may be prosecuted in criminal court, and you may be able to recover in civil court. In order to determine if you have a claim against a vandal, you should consult a criminal lawyer.