Orlando Criminal Mischief Defense Attorney
Section 806.13, Florida Statutes, defines Criminal Mischief as the willful and malicious causing of injury or damage, by any means, to any real or personal property belonging to another person. Any injury or damage to property could be perpetrated by means of defacement, graffiti, vandalism, or other destructive actions against the property.
Elements of Criminal Mischief
According to 806.13 (1)- (2), in order to prove Criminal Mischief, the state must prove three essential elements of Criminal Mischief beyond a reasonable doubt. To obtain a conviction, Orange County prosecutors must prove:
1. There exist injured or damaged [real] [personal] property;
2. The property injured or damaged belonged to (person alleged); and
3. The injury or damage was done willfully and maliciously.
In order to meet this burden, the state must prove, along with the first two elements, that an accused has conducted the action against the property “willfully.” This means the accused intentionally, knowingly, and purposefully caused the injury. In addition, Orange County prosecutors must prove that the action was done “maliciously.” In other words, the accused caused the damage with the knowledge that the injury may be caused to another person or property of another person.
Damage to the property is $200 or less.
2nd degree misdemeanor.
Punishable by up to 60 days in the county jail.
Damage to property is greater than $200, but less than $1000.
1st degree misdemeanor.
Punishable by up to 1 year in the county jail.
Damage to the property is $1000 or more.
3rd degree misdemeanor.
Punishable by up to 5 years in State prison.
At times the prosecutors evidence is weak. There are many factors that play into these cases, but if the circumstances should allow, Sercombe Law could help to get the charges dismissed or reduced to reckless conduct or another lower-level misdemeanor.
At Sercombe Law, we work hard to uphold your rights in the face of such accusations. No one wants to be accused of Criminal Mischief, but if you find yourself in this situation Sercombe Law will work with you to approach every viable avenue to ensure you are protected against violations of your rights and unfounded or false accusations.
There are many defenses available to defendants in Criminal Mischief cases. If such defenses exist, they will become aware as you work with Sercombe Law. Possible defenses and evidence to contest Criminal Mischief charges can include among others:
- Was the injury accidental, or without intent?
- Was the action that resulted in injury necessary to protect the alleged or others?
- Does the alleged victim own the property in in its entirety or is it jointly owned by the accused?
- Is there legal justification for the conduct that caused the damage?
- Is there evidence to show the conduct that led to the injury was not “wrongful?”
Facing prosecution for Criminal Mischief can be tricky without the proper representation. For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Orlando, contact Sercombe Law. We routinely handle matters in Orange County and nearby jurisdictions.