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In Washington State, Malicious Mischief charges are filed when a person is believed to have knowingly and maliciously caused physical damage to the property of another person or business. Most arrests are based upon the alleged victim’s accusations, which are often times inaccurate and exaggerated. A timely intervention by a defense attorney can sometimes prevent criminal charges from being filed.
Vandalism is an act that involves damaging or destroying property. It is typically done willfully. Graffiti is an example of vandalism, because it involves writing or drawing on property without the permission of the owner.
There is also acquisition vandalism. This type of vandalism involves damaging property in order to get money. An example of this is when a person breaks a vending machine in order to get money out of the machine.
If you have been accused of vandalism, then you will need to contact an experienced attorney who works in criminal defense law.
When you contact Tacoma defense lawyer Michael Harbeson for help with your vandalism charges, we help you put together a stronger case than you could on your own. Very often, the alleged victim of vandalism will exaggerate the amount of damage that was actually done. If you contact us in time, we may be able to minimize the charges or possibly even prevent criminal charges from being filed against you! Give us a call today or use the contact form on this page to request a free case evaluation.
In Washington State, Malicious Mischief can be charged as a gross misdemeanor or a felony. The charges are based upon the dollar amount of the damaged or vandalized property.
|3rd Degree||2nd Degree||1st Degree|
|Charge||Gross Misdemeanor||Class C felony||Class B felony|
|Jail||24 hours to 1 year||Up to 5 years||Up to 10 years|
|Property Damage||$750 or less||$750 to $5,000||$5,000 and Above|
|Fines and Penalties||Up to $5,000||Up to $10,000||Up to $20,000|
The name of the crime varies depending upon the court that handles the criminal complaint. In Seattle and Tacoma Municipal Court, the official name of the crime is Destruction of Property. Malicious Mischief is the name of the charge in the Puyallup, Olympia, and Lakewood, WA courts. Destruction of Property and Vandalism are subject to the same property damage limits and criminal consequences as Malicious Mischief.
Regardless of the degree charged the goals remains the same. We will help you avoid conviction for the criminal charge, but perhaps more importantly, keep you out of jail.