Vandalism can be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the cost to repair the damage. Every person who maliciously defaces with graffiti (or otherwise), damages or destroys real or personal property is guilty of vandalism per California Penal Code 594 (a) et seq. It is a felony if damages are $400 or more punishable by up to 3 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. It is a misdemeanor if damages are under $400 punishable by up to a year in jail and $1000 fine. Restitution is always ordered for repairs. There can even be a driver’s license suspension.
Many times vandalism charges are involved with domestic violence or assault charges. Graffiti is a popular type of malicious damage, as is slashing tires, breaking doors etc. Depending on the underlying causation of the vandalism, anger management may also be included in any settlement. The damage must be “maliciously” done, not accidentally. There are many factors and circumstances to be looked at in each case, and each person’s background who is charged. It is important in these cases where there is no real defense, to make restitution as soon as possible to achieve the best possible resolution
It is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you understand the law, the proceedings, and examine your individual case for possible defenses or mitigating factors. Call Attorneys Nicholas and William Christoph at 760-941-5720 for a free consultation and evaluation. Christoph Law Offices have been loicated across from Vista Courts for over 30 years and have the highest rating in legal lability and ethical standards.