Charges of Criminal Mischief, often called vandalism, are filed due to property damage or destruction. The Criminal Mischief charge is frequently added to more serious charges for other alleged offenses. If you become a defendant in this kind of case, you will need an experienced Utah Criminal Mischief lawyer to defend you.
Punishments in Criminal Mischief cases can be severe. It is important that you consult with a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible after you are charged. A Utah criminal defense attorney can protect your rights and manage your case in the state criminal court system. Your lawyer will stand with you in court, and make sure that you receive the best outcome that can be achieved in your Criminal Mischief case.
Your lawyer will listen to all the details of your situation, without judging you, and will give you professional legal advice on what is your best course of action under the law, against Criminal Mischief charges in Utah.
Criminal Mischief Laws in Utah
Criminal Mischief is defined under Utah law as intentionally damaging someone else’s property, leading to recklessly endangering a person’s life, safety, or health. It’s also defined simply as defacing, damaging, destroying another person’s property.
The charge of Criminal Mischief in Utah is often added to other charges. For example, in domestic violence assault cases, when the person charged has also damaged a cell phone, TV, computer, etc., prosecutors might also charge Criminal Mischief.
The court typically requires a person convicted of this violation under the state statutes to reimburse any federal, state, or local government department, private organization, business, or person for all their expenses incurred in the case.
What Can Make Criminal Mischief a Felony?
The subsections under Title 76 of the Utah Criminal Code, Chapter 6, Offenses Against Property, Property Destruction, Section 106, on Criminal Mischief detail the levels of Criminal Mischief offenses.
Classifications of Criminal Mischief, range from a Class B misdemeanor to a third degree felony. The degree of the crime charged is determined based on the value of property that has been destroyed or damaged. For example, in a case in which the property damaged is valued at a few thousand dollars or more, the defendants is charged with a felony.
Here are the kinds of acts that constitute Criminal Mischief, under Utah law:
- Damaging property for the purpose of defrauding the insurer
- Illegally and intentionally tampering with another person’s property and, by doing so, recklessly causing endangerment to someone’s life, safety or health
- Illegally and intentionally tampering with someone else’s property and, as a result, recklessly causing risk of major interruption or negative impact on the functioning of essential infrastructure, like a banking, communications, information, food distribution, or transportation system, or a utility, or a healthcare or public health facility
- Illegally and intentionally defacing, destroying, or damaging another person’s property
- Willfully or recklessly shooting at, or propelling an object at a car, truck, train, airplane, boat or other motorized vehicle
Consequences if You are Found Guilty of Criminal Mischief in Utah
If you are found guilty of a crime defined under the Utah Criminal Mischief law, the consequences can vary, potentially including:
- Large fines
- Community service
- Restitution for damage
- Jail sentence
- Prison sentence
- Other consequences
It is not uncommon for the consequences of a Criminal Mischief conviction to include a combination of the above penalties.
Additionally, a person convicted of the charge of Criminal Mischief in Utah is required to pay all of the state’s and other involved parties’ costs in the case.
What to Do If You are Charged with Criminal Mischief in Utah
You need to have an effective lawyer standing shoulder to shoulder with you, when you are facing a charge like Criminal Mischief.
If you have been charged with Criminal Mischief, an experienced Utah Criminal Mischief lawyer can ensure that all legal measures possible are taken, in effort to help you avoid more serious penalties.
Keep in mind that the criminal case process in the Utah court system is very complex. You need a fully knowledgeable Utah criminal lawyer with a track record of success in Criminal Mischief cases, to make sure that all of your rights are protected.
Wasatch Defense Attorneys, Salt Lake City, UT
We are criminal defense attorneys in Salt Lake City, Utah. We specialize in defending clients against Criminal Mischief charges. Our highly talented team of lawyers quickly start working to have your charges reduced, keep you from going to jail. We may even get your entire case dropped. Additional help we offer our clients includes:
- A free, confidential review of your case
- Payment arrangements
- Military discounts
If you have been accused of Criminal Mischief in Utah, it is important that you act promptly to protect your rights. Contact Wasatch Defense Attorneys, Salt Lake City, UT as soon as possible, to schedule an appointment for a free consultation to review your case. Or, fill out our online request for an appointment.