Criminal Mischief in NJ
Criminal mischief in New Jersey is when a person damages another person’s property knowingly in a reckless and purposeful manner, disregarding the harm and danger they are causing the other person or property. If a person is convicted, they can be faced with substantial repercussions. NJ law considers this type of crime as property crime that usually involves trespassing, vandalism, and property damage.
Graffiti and spray painting are also seen as a type of criminal mischief in NJ and a person found guilty of such a crime is subject to several life impacting penalties. They may be made, by the court, to pay for the damaged property. Additionally, they may be sentenced to community service, which can be inclusive of the removal of the said graffiti for not less than 20 days or as long as the removal of the painting takes.
Similarly, tenants who destroy property in their rental premises in retaliation to an eviction notice from the landlord can be charged with the crime. The penalty for this is to pay for the damaged property in addition to any other penalty the court imposes on them for their crime.
Degrees of Criminal Mischief in New Jersey
The degree of this type of crime is determined by the value of the property destroyed. Damaged property that has a value of under $500 is charged as a disorderly person offense that comes with a jail term of up to six months plus fines.
Third degree criminal mischief charges result where the cost of damages are $2,000 or more. Also included in this degree is damage resulting in the disruption of public transportation, communication, gas, water and power supply. It also applies to damages done to a research facility or a grave/crypt/mausoleum. Defendants can face up to three to five years in jail for a conviction.
New Jersey criminal mischief is considered fourth degree when cost of the damage ranges between $500 and $2,000. It also applies to the removal or destruction of devices like signals, signs, lights and other equipment that is used in the regulation of air traffic and safety in an airport or any other aviation facility. This charge can be bumped up to the third- degree if bodily injuries are caused by the destruction and second degree in the event of death. Harsher penalties are imposed on serial offenders.
Criminal Mischief Defense in New Jersey
Like every other case, our office will seek a dismissal or reduction of the charges of the against you. Our law firm, skilled in criminal mischief defense in New Jersey, will work tirelessly on your behalf to get you the best possible outcome depending on the circumstances surrounding your case.
New Jersey Attempted Criminal Mischief
NJ attempted criminal mischief refers to a person being found guilty of the intention to commit criminal mischief. This means that the actual crime hasn’t been committed yet, but the intent was there. The penalties are lesser and entail fines and minimum probation as there were no substantial damages involved.
Criminal Mischief Lawyer in New Jersey
An experienced New Jersey lawyer is your best option for protecting your rights and freedom if you are charged with criminal mischief. To simplify this process for you, choose our law firm in NJ, which regularly defends individuals accused of this type of crime. We assure you that attorney Benjamin Friedman takes every criminal mischief case seriously and will personally ensure you get the best legal representation.