Bell County Criminal Mischief Attorney
On its face, the term mischief conjures up thoughts of naughty children or rebellious teenagers. However, the offense described by the Texas statute on criminal mischief actually carries extremely serious ramifications for misconduct typically associated with vandalism. Even though the basic offense is a misdemeanor, you could face jail time and fines for a criminal mischief conviction. Plus, the nature of these cases often leads to additional counts for more serious property-related offenses.
It is important to take advantage of all defense opportunities regardless of the seemingly minor nature of criminal mischief and vandalism offenses. The long-term implications can come as a surprise, so trust The Law Office of Katie L. Gomez, PLLC to help fight the charges and obtain the best possible outcome in your case. To learn more about your options, please contact our firm to schedule a free consultation with a Bell County criminal mischief attorney. Some general information may also be useful.
Overview of Texas Vandalism Laws
Criminal mischief is akin to vandalism, but the statute is specific on what types of conduct amounts to breaking the law. You could be arrested if you:
- Damage or destroy property that does not belong to you;
- Tamper with someone else’s tangible property in such a way as to cause monetary loss or convenience to the owner; or
- Deface property through graffiti, i.e., inscriptions, slogans, drawings, or other markings.
For these three versions of criminal mischief, the prosecution must prove that you acted intentionally. However, an arrest for vandalism is also possible if you acted recklessly in damaging or destroying the property.
Criminal Mischief Penalties
Reckless damage to property is a Class C Misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine but no jail time. For the other three forms of criminal mischief, the penalties depend upon the dollar value of the damage caused to the property. Our Bell County criminal mischief lawyers at
The Law Office of Katie L. Gomez, PLLC can explain the details, but the punishment for a conviction may include:
- Less Than $100 in Losses: This offense is a Class C Misdemeanor, and it also covers vandalism that causes substantial inconvenience instead of exact losses.
- Losses Valued at $100 to $750: As a Class B Misdemeanor, you could face up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.
- Vandalism at $750 to $2,500: Criminal mischief is a Class A Misdemeanor in such a case, so a judge could order one year incarceration and a maximum fine of $4,000
- Losses from $2,500 to $30,000: This crime is a State Jail Felony, for which the sentence could be 180 days to 2 years in prison, along with a $10,000 fine.
A Bell County Criminal Mischief Attorney Will Advise You on Defense Strategies
The penalties and collateral consequences can be more serious than you expect, so solid legal representation is essential with any criminal charges. For more information, please call 254-330-3214 or go online to reach The Law Office of Katie L. Gomez, PLLC in Temple, TX. We can set up a no-cost consultation with a Bell County criminal mischief lawyer who will advise you.