Greenwich Criminal Mischief Lawyer
Caught vandalising property? Then you will probably face a charge in Connecticut called “criminal mischief”. Depending on the nature and value of the property vandalised, and how much damage is caused, criminal mischief charges can range from a Class D felony to a Class C Misdemeanor. An experienced defense attorney can help examine the facts and circumstances and help you find defenses to the charges. A Greenwich criminal mischief lawyer could also find applicable mitigating circumstances to reduce the severity of the consequences.
What are the Penalties and Classifications for Criminal Mischief Charges?
There four degrees of criminal mischief, each with different classifications and potential penalties:
- First Degree (C.G.S. § 53a-115 – Class D Felony): up to five years in jail and up to $5,000 in fines.
- Second Degree (C.G.S. § 53a-116 – Class A Misdemeanor): up to one year in jail and up to $2,000 in fines.
- Third Degree (C.G.S. § 53a-117 – Class B Misdemeanor): up to 6 months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
- Fourth Degree (C.G.S. § 53a-118 – Class C Misdemeanor): up to three months in jail and up to $500 in fines.
How Can I be Charged with Criminal Mischief?
In a general sense, criminal mischief may occur when someone intentionally damages the tangible property of another, or when they tamper with public utilities or other systems operated by the government. The difference in degrees for this offenses depend on the value and nature of the damage caused.
Criminal mischief in the first degree happens when a person intentionally damages the property of another and causes more than $1,500 of damage. It could also happen when someone damages or tampers with the property of a utility company with the intent of causing an interruption in service and succeeds in disrupting service to the public.
On the other end of the spectrum are degree criminal mischief in the third or foruth degree. Third degree is generally charged when the damage to the property is minimal, or even non-existent if there was a risk or danger that damage would occur. Fourth-degree criminal mischief happens when someone intentionally or recklessly tampers with a fire hydrant, fire alarm, smoke detector, fire suppressants such as a fire extinguisher, or police alarm.
In the middle is criminal mischief in the second degree, which is charged when the property damage is valued at more than $250 but not more than $1,500, or if intentional tampering with utility equipment causes a risk of outage but not an actual disruption.
Contact a Greenwich Criminal Mischief Attorney
Building a credible and legally valid defense for a criminal mischief charge may severely reduce your risk of conviction and the consequences you may face. Schedule an appointment today to discuss your case and begin developing a competent defense strategy. Call a Greenwich criminal mischief lawyer today to schedule a consultation.