Criminal Mischief in Florida

The Florida crime of Criminal Mischief is more commonly known as vandalism. If accused of Criminal Mischief, you need to know the:

Definition of Criminal Mischief

Under Florida Statute 806.13, the crime of Criminal Mischief is committed when a person willfully and maliciously damages another person's property.

Penalties for Criminal Mischief

The penalties for criminal mischief increase based upon the amount of property damage caused. The threshold amounts are:

Less than $200 in Damage

The crime of Criminal Mischief which results in less than $200 in damage is classified as a Second Degree Misdemeanor and if convicted, a judge can impose any combination of the following penalties:

  • Up to sixty (60) days in jail.
  • Up to six (6) months of probation.
  • Up to $500 in fines.

Between $200 and $1,000 in Damage

The crime of Criminal Mischief which results in more than $200, but less than $1,000, in damage is classified as a First Degree Misdemeanor and if convicted, a judge can impose any combination of the following penalties:

  • Up to twelve (12) months in jail.
  • Up to twelve (12) months of probation.
  • Up to $1,000 in fines.

More than $1,000 in Damage

The crime of Criminal Mischief which results in more $1,000 in damage is classified as a Third Degree Felony and is assigned a Level 2 offense severity ranking under Florida's Criminal Punishment Code.

If convicted of Criminal Mischief Causing More than $1,000, a judge can impose any combination of the following penalties:

  • Up to five (5) years in jail.
  • Up to five (5) years of probation.
  • Up to $5,000 in fines.

Defenses to Criminal Mischief

In addition to the pretrial defenses and trial defenses that can be raised in any criminal case, specific defenses to the crime of Criminal Mischief are:

Unintentional Damage

A conviction for criminal mischief will not stand if property was damaged unintentionally during another criminal act.

A typical example is when a person goes to throw an item at another person, but misses and breaks a window behind the intended target. The intent to hit the person cannot be considered an intent to break the window. [1]

Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby

If you have been arrested or charged with the crime of Criminal Mischief in Orlando or the Central Florida area, please contact Criminal Defense Lawyer today.

The initial consultation is free and I am always available to advise you on the proper course of action that can be taken.

References

  1. JG v. State, 655 So. 2d 1284 (Fla. 4th DCA 1995)