Los Angeles Vandalism Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one has been charged with vandalism in Los Angeles, you should immediately contact an experienced Los Angeles Vandalism Defense Attorney at The H Law Group to defend you. Our defense attorneys have defended numerous clients charged with vandalism and have been able to achieve excellent results in most cases. You should not take vandalism charges lightly as vandalism carries a maximum penalty carries a jail sentence of up to one year in county jail.
So, if you have been charged with vandalism, please contact an experienced Los Angeles Vandalism Defense Attorney at The H Law Group to defend you and keep you from going to jail for a long period of time. So, whether you’ve been charged with misdemeanor vandalism or felony vandalism, schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.
What is Vandalism?
Vandalism occurs when a person damages, destroys or defaces another person’s property. For example, if you’re at a protest in Los Angeles, and you break a store window, or cause damage to a car, you may be charged with vandalism.
The prosecution can either charge a person with misdemeanor vandalism or felony vandalism. The prosecutor’s decision to charge vandalism as either a misdemeanor or a felony depends primarily on the value of the property vandalized, as well as on the defendant’s criminal history.
If the defendant’s vandalism causes less than $400 worth of damages, the prosecution brings misdemeanor vandalism charges. However, if the damage caused by the defendant exceeds $400, the prosecution has the option to charge the defendant with either a misdemeanor or a felony.
Vandalism covers a wide variety of behavior that includes the following:
· Breaking a mailbox
· Smashing someone’s personal belonging
· Spraying graffiti on a wall
· Breaking a store’s window during a protest
· Causing damage to a police officer’s vehicle
Note: Whenever a person causes damage that exceeds $400, the prosecution can bring felony charges against the defendant. However, when the damages are less than $400, the prosecution must bring misdemeanor charges.
That said, if you have been charged with vandalism in Los Angeles or elsewhere in the State of California contact an experienced Los Angeles Vandalism Attorney to defend you and keep you from going to jail.
Vandalism Charges Under California Penal Code 594 PC
California Penal Code 594 PC makes it a crime for a person to cause damage, deface, or destroy another person’s property. California Penal Code Section 594 PC states the following:
“Every person who maliciously commits any of the following acts with respect to any real or personal property not his or her own, in cases other than those specified by state law, is guilty of vandalism: (1) Defaces with graffiti or other inscribed material. (2) Damages. (3) Destroys.”
Proving a Person Guilty of Vandalism Charges in Los Angeles, California
For the prosecution to convict a person of vandalism, it must establish a number of elements beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution fails to prove even one element, it will not be able to convict the defendant of vandalism. The prosecution must prove the following elements:
- The defendant damages another person’s property, the defendant destroyed another person’s property, or the defendant used graffiti or other materials to deface a building, AND
- The defendant did not own the property he damaged, destroyed, or defaced
Is Vandalism a Felony or a Misdemeanor?
In Los Angeles and throughout the State of California, prosecutors can bring either misdemeanor or felony charges against a person who destroys or damages another person’s property.
If the defendant caused property damage or destroyed property and the damage caused is less than $400, only misdemeanor charges can be brought. However, if the defendant causes damage that’s valued at $400 or more, the prosecution has the discretion to bring either misdemeanor or felony charges.
Misdemeanor Vandalism Penalties
- Conviction of a misdemeanor offense
- Up to twelve (12) months in county jail
- A fine of up to $1,000
- Placement on informal summary probation
- Performance of community service
Felony Vandalism Penalties
- Conviction of a felony offense
- One to Three years imprisonment in county jail
- A fine of up to $10,000
- Placement on formal felony probation
- Performance of community service
Note: The judge is free to add or remove any of the penalties you see here as he or she sees fit. That said, these are the most common penalties that those convicted of vandalism face.
If you have been charged with vandalism, you should immediately contact an experienced Los Angeles Vandalism Defense Lawyer to defend you and keep you from going to jail. There are many defenses available to you and we will discuss them in more detail below.
If you have been charged with vandalism, there are a number of defenses that your attorney can make to defend you. Here is a list of some of the defenses that your lawyer may be able to use to defend you:
- You are being falsely accused of vandalism
- You did not damage, destroy, or deface another person’s property
- You damaged another person’s property but you did accidentally
- You are a victim of mistaken identity
Note: These are not all of the defenses available to you, but rather, some of the most commonly used defenses. To know exactly which defenses apply to you, you should schedule a consultation with a Los Angeles Vandalism Defense Attorney and explain to him the situation. Your attorney will then recommend the best course of action to take to mitigate the consequences that you face.
Examples of Committing Vandalism
A man is protesting in downtown Los Angeles, the protest turns violent, and so the man decides to participate and smashes in a couple of large windows for a department store. The man can be charged with misdemeanor or felony vandalism because the cost of damage is likely to exceed $400. If the damages caused costs less than $400, the man can only be charged with misdemeanor vandalism.
A man is driving home in traffic, he’s angry and a woman behind him keeps honking at him to drive faster. The man gets out of his car and smashes the windshield of her BMW. She gets the windshield replaced for $1200. The man can be charged with and convicted of felony vandalism because the windshield of her BMW costs more than $400.
A man loves painting graffiti. One night he paints graffiti on the door of a local restaurant in Los Angeles. The restaurant owner pays $350 to have the graffiti removed and the door restored. The man can be charged with misdemeanor vandalism because he defaced another person’s building by covering the door with graffiti.
A man and his wife are having a heated argument. The man picks up his living room TV and throws it on the floor, destroying it. The man can be charged with vandalism because he destroyed property that is owned jointly by him and his wife.
Juvenile Vandalism Charges
Whether you’re an adult charged with vandalism or a juvenile charged with vandalism, the vandalism attorneys at The H Law Group are here to help. Juvenile courts are more concerned with rehabilitation, so if you’ve been charged with vandalism, allow our attorneys to negotiate a deal where your teen performs community service instead of being incarcerated. Also, if your teen completes community service and counseling, as well as paying restitution to the victims, the charges against your teen may be dismissed through the deferred entry of judgment program available in California.
Contact an Experienced Vandalism Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one has been charged with vandalism in Los Angeles, you should immediately contact an experienced Los Angeles Vandalism Attorney at The H Law Group to defend you. Our attorneys have defended countless persons charged with vandalism, and we have been able to achieve great results in most cases. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.