Criminal Mischief

Criminal Mischief

In New York State, there are various crimes that are considered “property crimes.”  The most common is Criminal Mischief.  

Under New York State Law, there are four degrees of Criminal Mischief, ranging from first degree to fourth degree; the least serious being Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree,

Section 145.00 of the New York Penal Law defines Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree as follows:    

An individual  is guilty of criminal mischief in the fourth degree when, having no right to do so nor any reasonable ground to believe that he or she has such right, he or she:

  1. Intentionally damages property of another person; or
  2. Intentionally participates in the destruction of an abandoned building…or
  3. Recklessly damages property of another person in an amount exceeding two hundred fifty dollars.

The crime of Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree is an A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail.  

There are various types of behavior  that can lead to a charge of criminal mischief, such as: vandalizing property, making graffiti, breaking a car window owned by someone else, or keying someone’s vehicle.  The larger the value of the property damaged, the greater the degree of Criminal Mischief.  For example, if the damaged property is over $1,500.00, the charge  rises to Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree, a class D felony. If the property is damaged with an explosive, then the charge is Criminal Mischief in the First Degree, a class B felony.

If you or someone you know is charged with Criminal Mischief, you need an attorney who knows the law and can put your best defense forward. Julie Rendelman is a former New York Prosecutor with over 20 years experience. Call for a free consultation at 212-951-1232.