New York Penal Law § 145.10: Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree

Vandalism is a crime that involves intentionally damaging the property of another person. In New York vandalism is referred to as "criminal mischief." There are 4 criminal mischief offenses in the New York criminal code. If you vandalize the property of another person, the specific criminal mischief charge that you will face will depend on a number of factors including the extent of damage you caused to the property. Under New York Penal Law § 145.10, you will face a charge of criminal mischief in the second degree if you intentionally cause damage to another person's property in excess of $1500.

Example

Tonya entered a boutique that sold beautiful handbags. Some of the more expensive bags where kept under lock and key in glass display cases. Tonya asked the sales person if she could see one bag up close. The sales person hesitated and told Tonya that the bags were very expensive. Tonya was offended. She repeated her request. With a snooty attitude, the sales person pulled out the bag that Tonya wanted to see. Tonya looked at it quickly and then started to leave the store. Angry, as she walked out Tonya "accidentally" poured the cup of coffee she was carrying on several of the handbags. Tonya could be prosecuted for criminal mischief in the second degree if the damage totaled more than $1,500.

Related Offenses
  1. Making Graffiti: New York Penal Law § 145.60
  2. Criminal Tampering in the Second degree: New York Penal Law § 145.15
  3. Criminal Tampering in the First Degree: New York Penal Law § 145.20
Defenses

Two important defenses to a charge of criminal mischief in the second degree is lack of intent and lack of damage in excess of $1500. If you did indeed damage another person's property but it was an accident, while you may face civil liability, you should escape criminal liability. In addition, the victim and the prosecutor will try to place the highest possible value of the amount of damage you are accused of causing. If you can show that the damage was did not exceed $1500, you have valid defense to the charge of criminal mischief in the second degree.

Sentence

Because criminal mischief in the second degree is a Class D felony, you could be sentenced to up to 7 years in state prison and face significant fines.

New York Penal Law § 145.10: Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree

A person is guilty of criminal mischief in the second degree when with intent to damage property of another person, and having no right to do so nor any reasonable ground to believe that he has such right, he damages property of another person in an amount exceeding one thousand five hundred dollars.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you are convicted of criminal mischief in the second degree there is a good chance you will have to spend several years in prison. Because your freedom is at stake, if you or a loved one is charged with criminal mischief it is important that you immediately seek experienced legal guidance. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with criminal mischief as well as other felonies and misdemeanors such as grand larceny, burglary, and assault. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of larceny in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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