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Best Defense for Vandalism Court Case In order for a prosecutor to effectively charge you with vandalism, they have to prove the following elements of crime:
    • That you destroyed or damaged property belonging to another person by either defacing it using inscribed materials or graffiti
    • That you maliciously did so
    • That the value of the damage was less than $400, however, in a felony prosecution the value of the damage has to be more than $400.
Defense in vandalism charges Some of the most common defenses when charged with vandalism are: Accident In the event that you unintentionally destroy or damage property, you qualify to use ”accident” as a reason in your legal defense for having committed the alleged acts of vandalism. Wrongful arrest or false allegations Seeing as how in some cases the domestic violence law and vandalism go hand-in-hand, it is not uncommon for an individual to be wrongfully arrested or falsely accused. It is not unheard of for people to damage property then later blame somebody else in order to have that other person charged for the crime. Mistaken identity Innocent individuals are frequently charged with a crime that they did not commit. This is usually the case in instances such as:
        • Apparent similarities in the description of the person who committed the crime and the innocent civilian
        • Having been in the company of the person or persons that vandalized property
        • An assumption having been made by the property’s owner that you wrongfully inflicted damage to their property despite not having been involved at all
Penalties associated with vandalism Vandalism as a crime is punishable in three ways: as a felony, a misdemeanor or an infraction. You may be charged with vandalism as an infraction if:
            • You are responsible for defacing property with either inscribed material or graffiti
            • The cost of the damage is less than $250
            • It is your first conviction for vandalism
You may be charged with vandalism as a misdemeanor if the value of the property destroyed was less than $400. Some of the sentences that may be handed to you if you are found guilty are:
                • face summary probation
                • a maximum fine of up to $5000, that is if you have been convicted of vandalism before
                • face up to one year in county jail
                • community service
                • counseling services
                • personally preparing cleaning or having the damaged property replaced
                • charged with the responsibility for keeping the damaged property or some other property within the community free from graffiti for up to a year
You should note that it is the responsibility of the parents to pay the fine for their children in the event that the children are not able to do so. You may be charged with vandalism as a felony if the valley of the damaged property exceeds $400. If convicted the individual faces:
                    • up to a maximum fine of $50,000
                    • a prison sentence of one year in county jail
                    • up to three years in state prison
Our services If charged with vandalism crimes, you should contact our downtown LA law firm as soon as possible. This is in order for us to protect your rights. You should not wait until the last minute to report this case to our downtown LA law firm as it might hurt your chances of succeeding in court. Give us a call today, or visit our offices to talk with one of our highly skilled or experienced lawyers.
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