New York City Criminal Mischief Defense Attorney (P.L. § 145.00, 145.05, 145.10, 145.12)

What is criminal mischief? You can be charged with criminal mischief if you intentionally damage someone's property for no legitimate reason and without their permission. In New York, criminal mischief is a class A misdemeanor that carries a punishment of up to 364 days in jail and a permanent criminal record.

We often see criminal mischief cases in the context of an alleged drunken altercations, such as a bar fight, in domestic violence situations where an intimate partner is accused of damaging a cell phone, and in angry encounters on the street and sidewalk between pedestrians and motorists. A critical question in any criminal mischief situation is regarding the value of the damaged property. If the damage is greater than $250, criminal mischief can be charged as a felony. Criminal mischief is broken up into 4 degrees with 1st degree being the most serious.

Criminal Mischief Types and Penalties

Criminal Mischief in the 4th Degree, PL § 145.00

  • Property damage
  • Misdemeanor
  • Up to 364 days in jail
  • Permanent criminal record

Criminal Mischief in the 3rd Degree, PL § 145.05

  • Damage was over $250, were breaking into a car, or priors for criminal mischief
  • Felony
  • Up to 4 years in prison (if no prior felonies)
  • Permanent criminal record

Criminal Mischief in the 2nd Degree, PL § 145.10

  • Over $1,000 of property damage
  • Felony
  • Up to 7 years in prison (if no prior felonies)
  • Permanent criminal record

Criminal Mischief in the 1st Degree, PL § 145.12

  • Property damage due to an explosion
  • Felony
  • Up to 25 years in prison
  • Permanent criminal record

If you or a loved one is under investigation or has been issued a Desk Appearance Ticket for criminal mischief, then contact New York City Criminal Defense Lawyer Lance L. Fletcher as soon as possible. Without proper legal representation, you may be forced into a oppressive sentence if convicted which may consist of jail, probation, fines, restitution, immigration consequences, and a permanent criminal conviction.

Generally, a person is guilty of misdemeanor criminal mischief when he or she intentionally damages the property of another but there are many defenses to this charge. Initially, we will want to discuss the details of your criminal mischief arrest to understand why and how you were arrested and to see if your rights were properly respected during the investigation and subsequent arrest. Then, our defense effort targets the provability of the charges against you, obtaining a copy of all of the evidence and charges filed in court, and any legal defenses that you have.

Contact New York City Criminal Defense Attorney Lance L. Fletcher as soon as possible if you or someone you know has been issued a Desk Appearance Ticket for criminal mischief. His office takes immediate action to see that your rights are protected and to ensure that you cases is properly handled. Mr. Fletcher, a former prosecutor, will thoroughly evaluate your case.

Contact us immediately if you have been accused or issued a desk appearance ticket for criminal mischief.

We handle cases involving:

  • Damage to cars
  • Damaged cell phones or computers
  • Damaged furniture
  • Damage to buildings
  • Damaged personal property
  • Broken windows
  • Damaged city property
  • Domestic violence property damage
  • All other damaged items

Statutes:

Criminal mischief in the fourth degree

§ 145.00 Criminal mischief in the fourth degree.

A person 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 as defined in section one thousand nine hundred seventy-one-a
of the real property actions and proceedings law; or

3. Recklessly damages property of another person in an amount
exceeding two hundred fifty dollars; or

4. With intent to prevent a person from communicating a request for
emergency assistance, intentionally disables or removes telephonic, TTY
or similar communication sending equipment while that person: (a) is
attempting to seek or is engaged in the process of seeking emergency
assistance from police, law enforcement, fire or emergency medical
services personnel; or (b) is attempting to seek or is engaged in the
process of seeking emergency assistance from another person or entity in
order to protect himself, herself or a third person from imminent
physical injury. The fact that the defendant has an ownership interest
in such equipment shall not be a defense to a charge pursuant to this
subdivision.

Criminal mischief in the fourth degree is a class A misdemeanor.


Criminal mischief in the third degree

§ 145.05 Criminal mischief in the third degree.

A person is guilty of criminal mischief in the third degree when, with
intent to damage property of another person, and having no right to do
so nor any reasonable ground to believe that he or she has such right,
he or she:

1. damages the motor vehicle of another person, by breaking into such
vehicle when it is locked with the intent of stealing property, and
within the previous ten year period, has been convicted three or more
times, in separate criminal transactions for which sentence was imposed
on separate occasions, of criminal mischief in the fourth degree as
defined in section 145.00, criminal mischief in the third degree as
defined in this section, criminal mischief in the second degree as
defined in section 145.10, or criminal mischief in the first degree as
defined in section 145.12 of this article; or

2. damages property of another person in an amount exceeding two
hundred fifty dollars.

Criminal mischief in the third degree is a class E felony.


§ 145.10 Criminal mischief in the second degree.

A person is guilty of criminal mischief in the second degree when with
intent to damage property of another person, and having no right to do
so nor any reasonable ground to believe that he has such right, he
damages property of another person in an amount exceeding one thousand
five hundred dollars.

Criminal mischief in the second degree is a class D felony.


§ 145.12 Criminal mischief in the first degree.

A person is guilty of criminal mischief in the first degree when with
intent to damage property of another person, and having no right to do
so nor any reasonable ground to believe that he has such right, he
damages property of another person by means of an explosive.

Criminal mischief in the first degree is a class B felony.

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