Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney | Criminal Mischief

Criminal Mischief

Facing Criminal Mischief Charges in South Florida? Kenneth Padowitz, P.A. Has Successfully Resolved Cases of Criminal Mischief 

Criminal mischief occurs when an offender willfully and maliciously injures or damages real or personal property belonging to another.  This includes, but is not limited to, graffiti or vandalism.  Under Florida law, these offenses are punishable based on the amounts of value of damage caused to the property, and may include prison time, fees, and/or community service.

These offenses often involve minors under the age of eighteen.  If your child has committed a delinquent act described above, then, as the parent or legal guardian, you are also liable along with the minor for the payment of the fine.  Minors may be punished by the revocation or withholding of driver licenses, mandatory penalties, community service, restitution, and forfeiture.

Florida Statute on Criminal Mischief 

806.13Criminal mischief; penalties; penalty for minor.—

(1)(a) A person commits the offense of criminal mischief if he or she willfully and maliciously injures or damages by any means any real or personal property belonging to another, including, but not limited to, the placement of graffiti thereon or other acts of vandalism thereto.

(b)1. If the damage to such property is $200 or less, it is a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

2. If the damage to such property is greater than $200 but less than $1,000, it is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

3. If the damage is $1,000 or greater, …it is a felony of the third degree

Defenses in Criminal Mischief cases

A defense to criminal mischief sometimes focuses on the element of the crime regarding “Malice”

Many Florida court opinions on this crime focus on the reasons or explanations for the defendant’s actions and how it may affect the element of acting with “malice”. In the juvenile case, J.R.S. v. State, the child ran away from home. He came back later and was locked out of the house. When he got hungry, he broke into the house by tampering with the door causing substantial damage. His charged and convicted but the Appeals Court overturned the conviction. The court found that the child had a reasonable justification or excuse to pry open the door and damage it in the process when trying to get into his own house to eat. The court found there was no “Malicious Intent” to damage the door, the only intent was to get inside to eat.

Any defense incorporating that the damage in a Criminal Mischief case was accidental is a plausible option in some cases. Accidental damage can not by its very nature be “Willfully or Maliciously”. 

Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney

Kenneth Padowitz Vigorously Defends Criminal Mischief Accusations

It is important that you secure experienced criminal defense attorney to protect you or your child’s rights in the event that they have been charged with criminal mischief.  Kenneth Padowitz, P.A. is an experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney who has successfully represented adults and juveniles facing criminal mischief charges for graffiti or vandalism throughout South Florida, including: Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Miami, Palm Beach, Weston, Pembroke Pines, Parkland, Plantation, and Cooper City. Call Broward criminal lawyer, Kenneth Padowitz, today to discuss this important matter.




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