Criminal Mischief Attorney in Deptford, NJ
New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Represents Clients Facing Criminal Mischief Charges in Burlington County, Gloucester County & Camden County, NJ
Criminal mischief in New Jersey is a property damage crime that is usually charged against individuals who have harmed physical property. Some common acts that can lead to criminal mischief charges in NJ include graffiti or breaking a window on a house owned by another individual. Many offenders realize that their actions resulted from a brief moment of poor judgment or anger, but a criminal charge on your permanent record carries lifelong consequences. The charged crime could show up on background checks and may affect your job opportunities, credit, and housing in the future.
The severe penalties for a criminal mischief conviction in New Jersey mean that you need an experienced NJ criminal defense attorney on your side and defending your rights. Attorney Michele Finizio has years of experience representing criminal defendants throughout South Jersey, including Evesham, Maple Shade, Camden, Lindenwold, and Monroe Township, NJ.
Examples of Criminal Mischief:
- Graffiti, drawing, spray painting, or marking someone’s property.
- Tampering with human remains from a gravesite or some other site.
- Removing traffic signs or other devices used for traffic safety.
- Damaging rental property.
- Damaging public property such as a city bus.
- Endangering another person by tampering with property.
Charges and Penalties for Criminal Mischief in NJ
The severity of the criminal mischief charge depends on the type of property that was damaged and on how much the damage costs. For property damage under $500, defendants will be charged with a disorderly persons offense. This can carry a jail sentence up to six months. The offender will also be subject to a fine of up to $1,000, and potentially higher if a motor vehicle was used in the crime.
If the damage is valued between $500 and $2,000, the defendant will be charged with criminal mischief in the fourth degree. It is also a fourth degree offense if the crime involves air traffic devices such as lights or signals. The offender will face a maximum of 18 months in prison for a fourth degree criminal mischief conviction.
If the criminal mischief offense involves injury to another person, it can be elevated to a third degree felony. Additionally, a third degree offense occurs when a property crime causes more than $2,000 in losses. Acts that disrupt a research facility, damage a grave with intent to tamper with human remains, or impair a public service can also be labeled as third degree felonies. These crimes carry a potential prison sentence of 3-5 years.
Experienced South Jersey Attorney Can Help You Fight Criminal Mischief Charges in Voorhees, NJ
It is possible in some cases to lessen or avoid a criminal mischief charge altogether. An experienced New Jersey criminal defense lawyer can evaluate these options and determine the most effective legal strategy in your particular case. Often, the victim of the crime wants their property repaired or replaced, which can make a plea deal more likely. If the situation involves relationships or substance abuse, completing counseling or a substance abuse program may also help an individual charged with criminal mischief. The main goal should be to avoid a permanent criminal record, but each case is different and the options may vary.
If you have been arrested and charged with criminal mischief in NJ, you need to speak with experienced criminal defense attorney Michele Finizio today. Contact Attorney Finizio online or call 609-203-0374 to schedule a free consultation at her office in Moorestown, New Jersey.