In California, vandalism as well as graffiti laws are put in place with the aim of protecting property owners. Damaging, destructing and defacing of other people’s property is prohibited by these laws. The severity of vandalism charges is determined by the conditions of the occurrence, the degree of damages as well as any probable gang affiliation. If convicted of vandalism, one faces various possible penalties such as probation, fines, juvenile detention or even jail time. It is for this reason that you should seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. This professional will give you a better understanding of your legal privileges and options.
In California, one is culpable of vandalism when they deface, destroy, or spoil any real property or personal property that does not belong to them. If the degree of the destruction is $400 or above, the crime carries a punishment of up to 1 year in county jail as well as a fine of up to $10,000. If the damages range between $400 and $10,000, the defendant might face a 1 year jail time and a fine of up to $50,000. If the damages amount to less than $400, the vandalism carries a punishment of 1 year in a county jail and fines of up to $1,000.
Vandalism charges will get even more severe if other accusations are included on top of it. For instance, if you are accused of engraving swastikas on a property of a Jewish individual, then, you might face hate crime charges as well. Also, if the defendant is an identified gang member, they could have gang enhancements added to the charges, therefore leading to more fines and a longer jail time. Vandalism charges are less severe for first-time offenders compared to repeat offenders.
There are some possible arguments to vandalism charges. The secret here is to get a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense lawyer who will guide you on the various defense options available. Often, vandalism charges are pointed against individuals as a result of mistaken identity. For instance, if you were in the company of the real offender, chances are very high that you will be charged not considering whether you participated in the crime or not. Other means in which mistaken identity may occur include unclear surveillance cameras as well as witnesses who might not have had a clear look at the perpetrators to identify them.
If you are facing vandalism charges for the first time and you do not know what to do, consider engaging an experienced criminal defense lawyer, Robert E. Levy. Robert E. Levy will personally take charge of your case to make sure that you get a favorable plea. Our objective is to ensure that you do not go to jail whether you are a repeat or first-time offender. Please contact us to talk about your case and get you all the help necessary to get back on track.
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