Many people mistakenly believe that a criminal mischief or vandalism charge isn’t a very serious legal issue. However, in Florida, these charges may result in various punishments and often require the services of an experienced lawyer to avoid jail time.
Criminal defense attorney Brian P. Gabriel has an in-depth knowledge of Florida law where vandalism and criminal mischief cases are concerned. He can help you understand what you are facing and may be able to guide you on your options to beat these charges.
What Is Criminal Mischief or Vandalism and What Are Florida’s Penalties for It?
Criminal mischief, or vandalism, is characterized by the willful intent to damage personal property belonging to another. One of the most common forms of criminal mischief is graffiti, which are writings or illustrations drawn, sprayed, or written illicitly onto surfaces belonging to public or private people or entities. Vandalism may also include:
- removing signage from a property,
- breaking windows,
- dumping trash on the premises, or
- defacing the property without permission.
In Florida, property damage due to criminal mischief or vandalism where the financial impact is more than $200 but less than $1,000 is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. The situation escalates significantly when the property damage exceeds $1,000, at which point the offense becomes a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
How Can a Florida Criminal Defense Attorney Help with This Type of Charge?
The penalties for significant property damage due to criminal mischief or vandalism in Florida show that the charge can be serious. It is imperative to have a strong criminal defense attorney to represent you so that the situation doesn’t escalate and lead to prison time as a possible consequence. Criminal Defense Attorney Brian Gabriel can work with you to determine the facts of the case and may be able to implement a defense strategy that resolves it to your benefit.
You owe it to yourself to try and eradicate these charges so that you don’t have a criminal record that follows you for the rest of your life. If you are being charged with causing thousands of dollars in damage, especially if it is not your first offense, you may face serious penalties. A reputable criminal defense attorney like Mr. Gabriel has the experience necessary to help get what may be tantamount to a simple misunderstanding resolved in a way that does not alter the course of your life.
Start with a Free Consultation to Address Criminal Mischief and Vandalism Charges
If you are facing a criminal mischief or vandalism charge, don’t make the mistake of thinking you can deal with it on your own because it is a non-violent infraction. These charges can be more severe than you may consider depending on the situation. Criminal Defense Attorney Brian Gabriel has spent over 30 years helping clients resolve criminal mischief and vandalism cases successfully. He will handle your case using all the knowledge and skill developed over the span of his career.