Criminal Mischief Charges in Denton, Cooke, & Collin Counties
If you or a family member is currently facing Criminal Mischief Charges, or if you think you may soon be facing them, there are a few things you will want to know. Criminal mischief is defined in Texas as the intentional damaging of property that belongs to someone else.
There are several specific Criminal Mischief charges related to the type of damage. These include Destruction of Property, Alteration of Property, and Defacement of Property, among others. Lesser examples of criminal mischief include vandalism and graffiti. However, criminal mischief charges can be serious if they involve the destruction of property – depending on the size and value of the property destroyed.
Under Texas Law, the following types of behaviors can result in criminal mischief charges:
- Knowingly or purposefully causing damage to or the destruction of someone else’s physical property.
- Knowingly or purposefully tampering with someone else’s property resulting in significant inconvenience or financial loss.
- Knowing or purposefully defacing or causing damage to someone else’s property by writing, inscribing, painting, or otherwise marking on it.
Penalties for Criminal Mischief in Texas
Depending on the type of the criminal mischief involved in your case, you may face misdemeanor or felony charges. Typically the more severe the destruction to the property and the more valuable the property itself is, the more egregious the charges become. There are several classifications of criminal mischief charges depending on the severity of the offense:
- Class C Criminal Mischief Misdemeanor – involves cases where the mischief causes no more than an inconvenience or $50 worth of damage. Penalties can range up to $500 in fines.
- Class B Criminal Mischief Misdemeanor – involves cases where the financial losses resulting from destruction or defacement of property are between $50 and $500. Penalties can go up to $2,000 in fines and/or a jail sentence of up to 180 days.
- Class A Criminal Mischief Misdemeanor – involves cases where the financial losses resulting from destruction or defacement of property are between $500 and $1500. Penalties here can go up to a $4000 fine as well as a one year jail sentence.
- State Jail Felony – involves cases where losses from destruction are between $1500 and $20,000; cases where the destruction was under $1500 but an explosive or firearm was used; or cases where public utilities or services like transportation, electricity, or others are disrupted or impaired.
- Third Degree Felony Criminal Mischief – involves cases where the losses from damage to or destruction of property are between $20,000 and $100,000. The Penalties can include up to $10,000 in fines as well as jail sentence of 2 – 10 years.
- Second Degree Felony Criminal Mischief – involves cases where the losses from damage to or destruction of property are between $100,000 and $200,000. The Penalties can include up to $10,000 in fines as well as jail sentence of 2 – 20 years.
- First Degree Felony Criminal Mischief – involves cases where the losses from damage to or destruction of property more than $200,000. The Penalties can include up to $10,000 in fines as well as jail sentence of 5 – 99 years.
Defending Against Criminal Mischief Charges
If you or someone you love is currently facing criminal mischief charges, it’s easy to fail to take the charges seriously. However, even a normally benign misdemeanor charge resulting in hardly any destruction to property can suddenly become a felony offense if public services are disrupted or people’s lives are inadvertently put at risk. Compound this with the use of a firearms or explosives – and even if the intent was truly mischievous in nature, you could still be facing jail sentences of up to twenty years or more!
You need experience, grit, and a firm understanding of criminal mischief law if you hope to emerge from your day in court with the best possible outcome for your case. Bruce Isaacks is Board Certified, Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is a practicing Criminal Defense Attorney in Denton, TX and is a Former District Attorney who will go to work for you. Bruce has spent years aggressively defending the rights of clients facing Criminal Mischief charges of all kinds in Denton, TX and the surrounding area. He has the legal expertise, drive, and understanding of the North Texas court system needed to get you the best possible outcome of your criminal mischief case.
If you would like to discuss the specifics of your case or are in need of legal representation, please give the Law Offices of Bruce Isaacks a call today. It’s absolutely vital you secure a defense team as soon as possible to give you your best chance at a positive outcome. So reach out to us today, we’re standing by ready to take your call.