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New Canaan Criminal Mischief Lawyer 

  • Under CGS § 53a-115, criminal mischief involves intentionally damaging or tampering with the property of another without permission.
  • Acts that are considered criminal mischief under Connecticut law might be referred to as vandalism elsewhere.

What are the Degrees of Criminal Mischief in New Canaan?

New Canaan criminal statutes describe four degrees of criminal mischief. Depending on the situation, possible penalties may range from a few months in a jail to up to five years in prison. Generally, the greater and more expensive the damage, the higher the penalties.

In addition to damaging the property of another person, criminal mischief charges may be levied in response to interference caused to public utility services and safety equipment such as fire alarms.  As a New Canaan criminal mischief lawyer may advise, you generally must act intentionally to be charged with criminal mischief.

What is First-Degree Criminal Mischief in New Canaan?

The most serious version of criminal mischief is criminal mischief in the first-degree, under CGS 53a-115, which is a class D felony. A person is charged with criminal mischief in the first-degree anytime they cause more than $1,5000 worth of damage to property, or any time they intentionally cause the disruption of services of public utilities or public transportation.  A first-degree criminal mischief conviction may result in up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, and a permanent felony conviction.

What is Second-Degree Criminal Mischief in New Canaan?

Under CGS § 53a-116, a person may be charged with second-degree criminal mischief if they cause between $250 and $1,5000 worth of damage to property, or if they tamper with a utility or public transportation property and cause a “risk of interruption or impairment” of service. Second-degree criminal mischief is typically charged as a Class A misdemeanor. Potential penalties include up to one year of imprisonment, fine of up to $2,000, and a permanent misdemeanor conviction record.

What are Third and Fourth-Degree Criminal Mischief in New Canaan?

Under CGS § 53a-117, a person can be charged with criminal mischief in the third degree for an act that was not necessarily intentional, anytime they act recklessly or intentionally cause some damage to property or place property in danger of damage.  Criminal mischief in the third degree is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine as high as $1,000.

The maximum penalties for fourth-degree criminal mischief, which typically occurs when someone tampers with fire protection devices or police alarms, are half that of the third-degree version—three months maximum in jail and a potential $500 fine. When facing any of these charges, a New Canaan criminal mischief attorney could help you avoid frustration and understand the Connecticut legal system.

Work with a New Canaan Criminal Mischief Attorney Today

State of mind is an important part of any criminal mischief case.  The preservation of evidence can be beneficial to your defense, making it important to contact an experienced criminal mischief attorney as soon as you are arrested or investigated for this crime.  A New Canaan criminal mischief lawyer could help you examine your case more closely, file the necessary paperwork, and prepare for a court appearance if necessary. Call today for more information.