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New Jersey Criminal Lawyers Define and Discuss Vandalism & Criminal Mischief in New Jersey

February 28, 2017

New Jersey Criminal Lawyers Define and Discuss Vandalism and Criminal Mischief in New Jersey

Criminal mischief” might sound like a minor offense with no strong repercussions, but the truth is that there is much more to it than this. As its name implies, criminal mischief is a criminal offense. It is defined as the act of purposefully or knowingly damaging another party’s property. It can be charged as a disorderly persons offense, a fourth degree crime, or a third degree crime, depending on the details of the incident. Cherry Hill criminal lawyers caution those who have had such offenses in the past, as they do show up on one’s record.

Like all other criminal charges, you can fight a criminal mischief charge by working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Do not assume that having a criminal mischief charge on your record cannot affect your future – it certainly can. Invest in your future by working with a lawyer to have your charge downgraded or dismissed.

Severe Penalties for NJ Criminal Mischief Charges

A criminal mischief offense is charged according to the value of the property damaged and certain other specific details of the offense. For an incident to be charged as a third degree crime, at least one of the following must be applicable:

  • More than $2,000 worth of property was damaged;
  • The property was research equipment that belonged to a facility;
  • A grave site was damaged because of the mischief; or
  • The mischief interrupted public transportation or utility services.

An individual convicted of a third degree criminal mischief charge can face three to five years in prison. For an offense to be charged as a fourth degree crime, either of the following must apply:

  • The mischief caused between $500 and $2,000 worth of damage; or
  • Gas lines, cable lines, or telecommunication lines were dug up as part of the mischief.

For this type of conviction, an individual can face up to 18 months in prison. For the lowest applicable charge, a disorderly persons offense, to apply to a case of criminal mischief, the damage must have totaled less that $500 and none of the above circumstances may apply. Often, graffiti falls into this category. The penalties for this type of conviction are fines, restitution, and community service.

New Jersey Criminal Lawyers at The Law Offices of Michele Finizio Defend Individuals Charged with Criminal Mischief in Camden, NJ

If you are facing any type of criminal mischief charge, consider fighting it with an experienced team of New Jersey criminal defense lawyers. Fill out our online form or call 856-888-9059 to schedule your initial legal consultation with the Law Offices of Michele Finizio in our Moorestown, New Jersey office. Be proactive and make the call today. Our firm works with clients from Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, and Salem County.

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“First class representation. Michele was my son’s attorney after he made a slight but bad decision that hurt no one, but one that potentially could have a caused a lifetime of employment problems in the future, despite having a four year college degree. First of all Michele was very proactive in protecting his rights. Rights we were not even aware of. She provided quick and reliable answers to our questions. Before we met with her our anxiety and worry was insatiable. The peace we felt after our first consultation alleviated all that and we knew we picked the right attorney. Her excellent negotiation skills resulted in a settling his case quickly and without conviction.

We owe a debt of gratitude for her service. I was shocked at how much she was able to do for my son. She is a solid lawyer who is honest and works to insure the best possible outcome for her client is achieved.”
- Former Client

“Michele was very prompt when getting back to me when I called regarding legal counsel. Michele kept me informed and in the loop while awaiting trial. Very professional qualities and I highly recommend Michele and will continue to seek her legal expertise in the future. Thanks.”
- Former Client

“I could not had ask for a better attorney. Michele Finizio treated my case and the case of those I’ve recommended as if we were part of her family. She gave it all she had, made her voice and case be heard in court and made it count, and we had the best possible outcome, thanks to her experience and expertise. Thank you very much for an outstanding job.”
- D.A.

"Michele is an outstanding, no “beating around the bush” lawyer. She has done a remarkable job as a lawyer for me. Before Michele, I did not get along with Criminal Lawyers – she comes HIGHLY recommended by me to anyone who needs a Criminal Lawyer."
- C.O.
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