If you were arrested in the state of California for vandalism, you could face either misdemeanor or felony charges. The extent of damages and the cost that results go into determining which charge applies. Under the law, when it can be proven that a person willfully and maliciously damaged or tarnished property, that individual will be convicted of vandalism and handed down a punishment for their crime.
There are several defense strategies that can be used to defend against California vandalism charges. A competent San Diego vandalism defense attorney will explore several angles to find which is the best for their client. Some examples of valid arguments include:
- You did not mean to destroy another person’s property and the incident was a mistake.
- You were falsely identified as the culprit who committed the vandalism.
- You did not actually commit the crime and the accusations against you are untrue.
These defense approaches are just a handful of the different ways that your charges may be fought. David M. Boertje is a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in San Diego who will thoroughly review your case and assemble the best strategy aimed at keeping you safe from punishment. As a seasoned San Diego vandalism defense attorney, David M. Boertje will support you and safeguard your legal interests.
What Happens When You are Arrested for Vandalism in California?
Personal property that only belongs to one person can be destroyed by the sole owner, and this will not be considered vandalism under the law. The common misconception is that mischievous young people commit these fairly innocuous acts of vandalism. The truth is that many people of all ages and backgrounds vandalize.
These are just a few examples of vandalism:
- Keying a car.
- Having a fight with your spouse or partner and breaking a valued vase.
- Spray painting property that is not your own and without permission.
- Ruining wet cement.
- Knocking a sign over.
- Pushing down a mailbox.
- Throwing a rock through someone’s window.
This list is not exhaustive as there are many actions that constitute vandalism. When the vandalism causes property damage that is at least worth $400, it will be considered a felony. Anything under $400 is a misdemeanor. Sometimes a person vandalizes several types of property that are all under $400, but when added together, the total amount of destruction is more than $400. This makes it possible to be charged with a felony.
The important takeaway is that viciously defacing public or private property that you do not own or partially own with another party is likely going to result in a vandalism charge. When the property that you damage is of high value, more severe penalties will follow because you will be looking at felony charges. Continue reading