What is Vandalism? Vandalism is defined as the “willful or malicious destruction of public or private property.” While some acts of vandalism may not seem harmful or serious to you, vandalism is taken very seriously by law enforcement agencies and can have severe consequences.
Examples of Vandalism Vandalism takes on many forms, including:
– Breaking windows
– Throwing eggs
– Keying (scratching) other’s property
– Bashing mailboxes
– Damaging road signs
– Slashing tires
– Clogging drains to cause flooding
– Defacing or damaging a church
– Under age (18) possession of aerosol paint containers
– Vandalism by use of fumes or chemicals
Although you may have committed some of these acts as pranks, if you are accused of the crime, you will be held fully accountable for any destruction that you may have caused. Charges for vandalism are classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony based on the amount of damage done and any previous criminal history.
If you have a prior history of criminal convictions or gang activity, your charges may be changed from a misdemeanor to a felony.
Misdemeanor Vandalism Acts of vandalism that have caused damage of $400 dollars or less are usually classified as a misdemeanor. Misdemeanor charges often require no jail time, however, you may be sentenced to up to one year in jail. Other consequences include hefty fines of up to $1000, community service of up to 100 hours, informal probation, and restitution for damages to the victim’s property.
Felony Vandalism Vandalism charges may be classified as a felony when the damage done to the victim’s property is estimated at $400 dollars or more. Felony charges will include jail time, extensive fines, extensive community service hours, restitution for damages to the victim’s property, and formal probation. In some cases, your driver’s license may be suspended.
A Lawyer Can Help If you are facing vandalism charges, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced vandalism defense lawyer as soon as possible. A skilled attorney will be able to evaluate your case and organize an effective defense on your behalf.
You may believe that your act of vandalism was an act of creative expression or harmless prank, law enforcement agencies and the prosecution will work their hardest to have you prosecuted at the full extent of the law.
Speaking with an knowledgeable attorney will help you throughout the complicated legal process and will ensure that your rights are protected in a court of law. Turn to a skilled Rhode Island vandalism defense attorney [http://rhodeislandscriminaldefenselawyer.com/rhode_island_domestic_violence_lawyer.aspx] to aggressively protect your rights.