New York Criminal Mischief
A New York Criminal Mischief Lawyer can explain that the crime of Criminal Mischief occurs when a person intentionally defaces or destroys the property of another. This offense is also known as vandalism. Interestingly, there is no action crime in the penal code called “vandalism.” This crime can come in many forms. Pursuant to New York Penal Law 145, it can apply if a person prevents another from making an emergency call because the defendant damaged or took their phone. It can also involve tampering with the property at a place of business, electrical or gas meters, or even a graveyard. This offense can be prosecuted in either criminal or civil court. If the offense was committed against a business, the business owner will often opt to bring the case to civil court. This is because in civil court the victim can obtain monetary damages. Being charged with this offense or other criminal matter such as Assault, battery, petite larceny or a White Collar Crime is a very unsettling experience. It is important to speak with the legal team at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC as soon as possible to ensure that your legal interests are protected.
There are four degrees of this crime. Criminal Mischief in the 4th degree is classified as a misdemeanor offense. A misdemeanor is an offense punishable by up to one year in jail. This offense applies to property that is valued up to $250.00. This type of vandalism is often seen in the context of graffiti that is seen on subway walls, sides of fences and buildings. If an individual is caught in possession of a tool used to create graffiti, this is considered a separate offense. Criminal Mischief in the third degree is a felony. A felony is considered any crime where the punishment is at least one year in jail or more. This crime applies where the property is valued at between $250. to $1,500. Criminal Mischief in the second degree pertains to property that has a value of over $1,500. and is a D felony. This crime in the first degree is a B felony, and applies where the property has been destroyed by the use of explosives.
This offense can arise in various ways, one of which is involved with “road rage.” This type of incident usually arises when one driver makes an error while driving and a heated dispute follow. Often in these situations one party damage the other party’s vehicle in some way. The person who caused the damage is often arrested. In order to determine what specific crime the defendant will be charged with the police will estimate the damage to the car. If it appears that the damage is exceeds $250, the defendant is guilty of a felony offense.
A New York District Attorney would usually not question an estimate for damage submitted by the victim. This creates uncertainty as to whether the defendant should be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony offense. If the incident became physical, the charges escalate. Charges can include Assault, criminal menacing, or possession of a weapon. If convicted, the consequences of these charges can be very serious. It is important to seek legal guidance as soon as possible. Contact our legal team for advice and a free consultation. We have offices in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island. We also have locations in Nassau County and Suffolk County on Long Island, as Westchester County. Call us today to schedule an appointment with our legal team at 800.696.9529.