It can happen to anyone: you get a little carried away with a prank, or you act out of anger and end up being arrested for vandalism. While a vandalism charge might not seem like a big deal, it can actually mean jail time and thousands of dollars in fines. It doesn’t have to, though, with the help of a vandalism attorney in Tustin.
Our team of California criminal defense lawyers knows what it takes to get you a reduced sentence for your vandalism charge. Simmrin Law Group attorneys have experience defending people like you from the harsh California court system. We also offer free consultations to give you an idea of how we can help.
What Is Vandalism?
When you think of vandalism, you might picture a delinquent teen spray-painting a wall. However, vandalism can be more than just graffiti. According to California Penal Code (CPC) § 594, vandalism is any malicious defacement, damage, or destruction of someone else’s property.
It’s important to remember that if the defacement of the property is impermanent or removable, it is still vandalism. That means even if you draw something that is easily cleaned off, you can still be charged.
If you’re confused as to whether or not your actions counted as vandalism, you can get a free consultation with a Tustin vandalism attorney. Our team will listen to your side of the story and tell you what the next steps for your case should be, as well as what we can do for you.
For a free legal consultation with a vandalism lawyer serving Tustin, call (310) 928-9347
Common Examples of Vandalism
There are a variety of different actions that can count as vandalism in California. Many of them are honest mistakes, but no matter what your intention might be, you can still be charged, potentially with a felony. Common examples of vandalism include:
- Drawn or spray-painted graffiti
- Thrown objects like eggs
- Damage to a car’s paint from a key or other sharp object
- Slashed tires
- Broken windows
If you’ve been accused of vandalism but don’t think you’re guilty, a criminal defense attorney can help argue your case. We know that sometimes people get caught up and can break or deface something, even if they don’t mean to.
Tustin Vandalism Lawyer Near Me (310) 928-9347
What Is the Punishment for Vandalism in California?
While vandalism might seem like a minor charge for a fun prank or a simple mistake, the penalties can be steeper than what you might think. Ultimately, it depends on how much damage your vandalism did, and the court often scales your punishment to the extent of your crime.
In general, misdemeanor vandalism consists of property damage worth less than $400. For a misdemeanor vandalism offense, you could be facing up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000. Not to mention the impact on your life that having a vandalism charge on your criminal record could make.
Is Vandalism a Felony?
If your vandalism caused property damages worth more than $400, it is a felony. Felonies carry much higher penalties than misdemeanors and can prohibit you from voting or owning a gun.
If you’re charged with felony vandalism, you could be facing up to three years of jail time and a fine of up to $50,000. Along with the challenges that a felony conviction can pose to your chances of getting a job or a loan, prison time and fines can derail your life. There could be a way to avoid the steep penalties of a felony charge, though.
A reduced charge or a dropped conviction can save you from life-altering consequences. Hiring a lawyer to defend you can be your first step. We know how hard it can be living with a vandalism charge on your record, and we know how to help you avoid the worst of your consequences.
How Does a Vandalism Lawyer in Tustin Fight a Charge?
Fighting a vandalism charge isn’t necessarily easy, so we suggest that you seek the help of an attorney if you intend to fight your charges. Only an experienced lawyer can navigate the nuances of criminal defense and know how to negotiate a reduced sentence.
In order to fight your charge, a vandalism attorney in Tustin will do the following:
- Investigate your case
- Gather any evidence that supports your innocence
- File any necessary documents or motions
- Negotiate with the prosecutor for a lesser sentence
- Argue that you deserve to have your charge reduced or dropped entirely
To do those things, your lawyer may employ certain defenses that could get you out of your charges by a technicality. Common defenses against vandalism charges in California include arguing that:
- You did not have any malicious intent to deface or destroy any property
- You thought you were the owner of the property
- The owner actually gave you consent for your actions
- You were mistaken for the actual vandal
- The damage done was a complete accident
By arguing your side of the story, one of our criminal defense attorneys may be able to convince them to completely drop your charges, saving you valuable time and money. At your initial consultation, our team will tell you what we think we can do for you.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now
Talk to a Tustin Vandalism Attorney Today
Even if your actions did not seem serious or were an accident, your vandalism charge can majorly affect your life. Fines, jail time, and a record of your arrest can make things much harder. Help from a criminal defense attorney could be what you need to move on without heavy repercussions.
The Tustin vandalism lawyers at Simmrin Law Group want to hear your account and help you with your case. Contact us today to get a free consultation with our team.