- Graffiti: any writing, drawing or symbol applied to any surface without the owners consent
- Tagging: writing the person’s name or gang affiliation on someone else’s property
- Acquisitive vandalism: damage or destruction to obtain money or property, like breaking a vending machine to get the money or the candy
- Sabotage: damage or destruction of the property to render it unusable, such as slashing car tires, gluing locks, or arson.
If you are a victim of vandalism, you should call the police. If there is sufficient evidence, the police will then forward your case to the District Attorney’s office to prosecute the person who committed the vandalism against you.
Although vandalism is sometimes regarded as childish, all fifty states and the federal government have strict punishments for those who engage in damaging or destroying the property of others. Vandalism can be penalized as either 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, he or she could be punished with mandatory community service, fines, and/or prison time.
If you are accused of vandalism, you should speak to a criminal attorney to learn more about your rights, your defenses and the complicated legal system.