While most vandalism offenses sound like they are the things of childhood pranks, they are also punishable by California laws. Vandalism could carry with it misdemeanor and even felony charges, depending on the range of property damage that occurs. A felony has the potential to drastically impact your future, from child custody disputes to future employment opportunities. It is therefore important to speak with a San Jose vandalism attorney regarding any vandalism charges, even if you believe the offense is trivial.
Vandalism in San Jose
Vandalism is the crime of maliciously damaging or destroying another's property. This is often seen on the California streets through graffiti and street art on private property. If the damage to property is under $400, it will be considered a misdemeanor offense, and may carry with it a punishment of up to one year in county jail and a fine of $1,000. However, if you have received a vandalism conviction before, the punishment range may increase. Once the property damage increases to more than $400, you will also face increased penalties and prison time. In addition to penalties and jail or prison time, a person convicted of vandalism may be court-ordered to clean up or repair any property damage.
Since vandalism charges are often brought against minors, a parent can be held liable for any fine that is imposed on the minor for a vandalism conviction. Additionally, a parent may be required to help the minor with property clean-up efforts.
Vandalism charges have the potential to drastically impact the future of a minor for a juvenile crime which is often the result of teenage boredom. A child should not be forced to begin their path to adulthood with a felony on their record and thousands of dollars of penalties to repay. An experienced San Jose vandalism attorney will assist you in working with the prosecution to lower the fine or punishment range and work to reduce the charges to a misdemeanor.
Some of the main defenses to vandalism include the approval of the property owner to engage in the activity, or the lack of intent to commit vandalism. In the age of street art and street artists, it can be difficult to understand what vandalism truly entails when so much of the street art throughout California is often praised for artistic prowess. However, the defacing of any private property will often fall within the crime of vandalism, and it is therefore important for your criminal defense lawyer to understand all the facts of your case, including your mindset during the commission of the offense.
Ahmed and Sukaram Law | San Jose Vandalism Attorneys
If you or your child have been arrested on charges of vandalism, do not hesitate to contact the attorneys ofAhmed and Sukaram. Our attorneys have years of experience in handling vandalism charges and will work tirelessly to protect you from receiving a misdemeanor or felony conviction. Your children should not start their adult lives with a vandalism conviction already on their records. Contact us today for your initial free consultation.