Malicious mischief is a non-violent crime. Non-violent crimes don’t involve injury to a victim or use of force, instead they involve some type of economic loss or property damage to a victim. In Washington State, malicious mischief in the first degree involves physical property damage that exceeds $5,000. It is a class B felony punishable by 10 years in prison and/ or $20,000 in fines. But malicious mischief also has two lesser offenses: second and third degrees.
What is Malicious Mischief in the Second Degree?
In Washington State, a person is guilty of second degree malicious mischief if they knowingly and maliciously caused property damage exceeding $750. They are also guilty if they create a substantial risk of impairing or interrupting public services, such as:
- Physically tamper or damage an emergency vehicle
- Physically damage or tamper with state property
- Physically damage or tamper with public utilities, public transportation, or methods of communication
Is the “Criminal Mischief” and “Malicious Mischief” the Same Crime?
Yes, it’s the same crime. Criminal mischief involves intentionally damaging property belonging to someone else. Washington State uses the term “malicious mischief” instead of "criminal mischief.”
Is it Considered Criminal/Malicious Mischief to Impair or Meddle with Someone’s Property?
No. Malicious mischief is more detailed. A defendant must be have:
- Destroyed property
- Damage property
- Alter property from its original form
- Deface property
If the defendant only meddled or impaired property, then it will be considered criminal tampering.
If I Am Convicted of Malicious Mischief in the Second Degree, Will I Go to Prison?
It’s possible. In Washington State, malicious mischief is charged as a class C felony. It’s punishable by up to 5 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. S it is possible for a judge to sentence the defendant to only pay the $10,000 fine.
Can a Criminal Lawyer Help Me with My Case?
Yes, a washington criminal lawyer will help you resolve this case. Contact a lawyer immediately.