DUI arrests don't always lead to convictions in court. Police officer mistakes, faulty breathalyzers and crime lab errors may get your charges reduced or dismissed. Visit our California DUI page to learn more.
Senior Pranks in San Diego County Can Lead to Criminal Charges if They Involve Vandalism
As high school seniors across San Diego County approach graduation, some of them may be thinking about the time-honored tradition of pulling a “senior prank.” But if that prank includes damage to property, it can also constitute vandalism – a criminal offense in California that can come with serious consequences.
Vandalism is a crime in San Diego County and throughout California. It is defined in California Penal Code Section 594 as maliciously damaging, destroying, or defacing with graffiti on someone else’s property.
The damage caused doesn’t have to be permanent to constitute vandalism under California law. Just because rotten eggs or rolls of toilet paper can ultimately be cleaned up as if nothing ever happened doesn’t mean that you can’t be charged with a crime. (just ask Justin Bieber).
Vandalism can be prosecuted as either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the amount of damage caused and whether it is a first or subsequent offense.
Damage less than $400: a misdemeanor that can carry the following potential consequences:
up to one (1) year in a county jail,
a maximum fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000) — OR up to $5,000 if you have a prior vandalism conviction, and/or
informal (otherwise known as “summary”) probation which may include a driver’s license suspension, counseling, and community service (which could mean cleaning or repairing the damage caused)
Damage of $400 or more: this can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony (making it a “wobbler”). Penalties for a felony vandalism conviction could include:
either probation with up to one year in county jail, or a jail sentence of sixteen 16 months, two years or three years,
a maximum fine of $10,000.or up to $50,000 if the amount of the damage was $10,000 or more, and/or
the same probation conditions as for misdemeanor vandalism convictions
Specific types of vandalism. In addition to Penal Code Sec. 594, California law includes specific prohibitions and penalties for other types of vandalism, including vandalism to places of worship (Penal Code Sec. 594.3), cemeteries (Sec. 594.35), and highways or freeways (Secs. 640.7 and 640.8) as well as vandalism involving dangerous chemicals such as acid (Sec. 594.4).
If a senior prank involving an act of vandalism was committed by a juvenile, their parents may also be subject to penalties including having to contribute to any fines or restitution as well as participate in any ordered community service.
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.
If you saw a building in Las Vegas that had been “tagged” with spray paint or was otherwise defaced, you could say that the building had been vandalized and covered with graffiti. But there is a difference between graffiti and vandalism in Las Vegas. They are actually two separate and distinct criminal offenses in Nevada. ...
In December 2015, a 20-year-old man was arrested and is facing criminal charges for vandalizing the parking lot of a Sikh temple in Buena Park, California. Such acts against houses of worship, especially mosques, has been on the uptick over the past year. Whether it is a mosque, church, synagogue, or any other house of ...
The answer to the question in the title is “yes.” If you are arrested for “tagging” a building, home, or other structure or property in Riverside County, you can be charged with either the crime of vandalism or the separate criminal offense of graffiti. Vandalism Tagging is a form of vandalism as that term is ...
Most jurisdictions say that you commit the crime of criminal mischief if you intentionally damage the property of another person or entity (for example, a business or city). The offense is sometimes referred to as “vandalism” or “malicious mischief.” Examples of criminal mischief include: defacing library books, tampering with the brakes of someone’s car, and ...