Defense Attorney For Juvenile Vandalism
Vandalism, also known as property or criminal mischief, happens when a person purposefully damages or defaces a property they don’t own. Vandalism is among the most common juvenile offenses committed in Florida. Like theft crimes, vandalism charges have a particularly negative connotation for universities and employers, even when committed as a juvenile. Colleges and companies might not want to associate with someone with a record, so it is imperative to retain legal counsel soon after your child has been charged with vandalism to ensure that it does not end up on their permanent record.
Adam Stout is here to help you and your child when you need it most. He’s an experienced criminal defense attorney who will protect your child’s reputation and provide personal, professional legal representation and counsel. He will work tirelessly to ensure that your rights are protected.
Types Of Vandalism
Per Florida law, a juvenile crime must meet three criteria to be considered vandalism: physical damage, ownership by another, and intention. Common examples of vandalism include the following.
- Salting Lawns
- Cutting Trees Without Permission
- Egg Throwing
- Breaking Windows
- Tire Slashing
Florida Vandalism Charges
According to Florida Statute § 806.13, vandalism can be charged as either a second-degree misdemeanor, a first-degree misdemeanor, or a third-degree felony depending on the monetary value of the property damage. The breakdown of the charges includes the following.
- Second-degree misdemeanor. These are cases in which the property damage is less than or equal to $200. The maximum punishment for a second-degree misdemeanor is 60 days in the county jail.
- First-degree misdemeanor. These are cases in which the property damage is greater than $200 but less than $1,000. The maximum punishment for a first-degree misdemeanor is one year in the county jail.
- Third-degree felony. These are the most severe cases and occur when the property damage is greater than or equal to $1,000. The maximum punishment for a third-degree felony is five years in state prison.
In some cases, misdemeanor criminal mischief can be upped to a third-degree felony if the defendant has a prior conviction for vandalism. Any person who willfully and maliciously defaces, injures, or damages, by any means, a church, synagogue, mosque, or any other place of worship (or religious articles inside), commits a felony if the property damage is greater than $200. Therefore, what would otherwise be a first-degree misdemeanor becomes a third-degree felony when damaging a place of worship.
How We Can Help
An experienced vandalism lawyer will be able to investigate the details of any charges brought against you or your child and can work with you every step of the way to ensure that no stone is left unturned. Facing vandalism charges can leave clients feeling like they have nowhere else to turn — let Adam and our team Stout Defense, P.A., help throughout the entire process. We will use several defense strategies and techniques to work for you.