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Just Possessing Vandalism Tools Can Be Enough to Get You Charged with a Crime in Los Angeles
You don’t need to actually tag a building to be charged with a graffiti-related crime in Los Angeles. If you just intend to commit an act of vandalism, mere possession of tools or other items that you were going to use in the act is enough to get you charged with a crime.
California Penal Code Section 594.2 makes it a California misdemeanor to possess any of the following items with the intent to commit vandalism or graffiti:
a masonry or glass drill bit
a carbide drill bit
a glass cutter
a grinding stone
a carbide scribe
an aerosol paint container
a felt-tip marker, or
any other marking substance
For the purposes of Section 594.2:
a “Felt tip marker” means any broad-tipped marker pen with a tip exceeding three-eighths of one inch in width, or any similar implement containing an ink that is not water soluble, and
a “Marking substance” means any substance or implement, other than aerosol paint containers and felt tip markers, that could be used to draw, spray, paint, etch, or mark.
A conviction for violating this Penal Code provision in Los Angeles could result in
a sentence of up to one year in the Los Angeles County Jail
a maximum fine of $1,000
informal (otherwise known as “summary”) probation.
Additionally, as a condition of probation for any violation of this section, the court may order the defendant to perform up to 90 hours of community service during a time other than his or her hours of school attendance or employment.
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.