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    New Canaan Third-Degree Criminal Mischief Lawyer

    Vandalism offenses in New Canaan and throughout Connecticut fall under the State’s criminal mischief statute. If you were charged with damaging or tampering with property, contact a New Canaan third-degree criminal mischief lawyer for help with your defense.

    How Does the Value of Property Impact a Criminal Mischief Charge?

    There are instances where the value of property is important in a criminal mischief charge. For example, if the property damage exceeds $250 dollars, someone can be charged with second-degree criminal mischief. Causing property damage in excess of $1,500 can result in a first-degree criminal mischief charge. In contrast, third-degree criminal mischief under Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) 53a-117 does not require any specific dollar amount of property damage.

    What is Third-Degree Criminal Mischief in New Canaan?

    Criminal mischief in the third degree occurs when someone intentionally or recklessly damages another’s property without a reasonable belief that they are allowed to do so. Additionally, merely putting property at risk can lead to an arrest for third-degree criminal mischief.

    What Does it Mean to Place Property at Risk?

    Property at risk includes items that could reasonably be damaged during an event or actions caused by the defendant.  For example, if the accused placed an item in the middle of the road, there is a reasonable risk it could be run over by a vehicle. This situation could be considered conduct that puts an item at risk of damage.

    How Do Authorities Determine if Conduct was Reckless or Intentional?

    The police will determine whether or not the damage was intentional or reckless. They will look at the totality of the facts and figure out how the property with damaged to begin with. If the property was thrown out of the window by the defendant, the police will determine that was intentional damage. If the property was damaged after two parties were in a fight, and they knocked into something or something was thrown during the fight, that would be considered reckless damage by the police.  The police will then charge a defendant accordingly.

    How Can an Experienced Attorney Help?

    One benefit of hiring an attorney for a third-degree criminal mischief charge is to avoid making any incriminating statements to the police. An attorney can help even if someone has not yet been arrested but is under investigation. Another benefit is that the attorney can analyze all the evidence that the State Attorney or police have against the defendant.

    To secure a conviction, the prosecution must prove very specific elements, such as recklessness or intent. If the evidence does not prove this beyond a reasonable doubt, a New Canaan third-degree criminal mischief attorney could argue that they have failed to meet their burden of proof. An attorney could also help mitigate the potential sentences as much as possible, and they may be able to help a defendant enter a Court Diversionary Program that would result in their charges being dismissed.

    Contact a New Canaan Third-Degree Criminal Mischief Attorney Today

    For help building a defense to your criminal mischief in the third-degree charges, reach out to a lawyer as soon as possible. A New Canaan third-degree criminal mischief lawyer could fight to protect your interests and resolve your case in a positive manner. Call Mark Sherman Law to schedule a case review.