What to do if Your Child is Accused of Vandalism in California?
There are many circumstances leading to your child facing vandalism charges. Contrary to what many believe, vandalism entails much more than painting graffiti, tagging and breaking mailboxes and windows. They can also face vandalism charges if they damage someone else’s property like a phone or car.
- Some of the most common types of vandalism are:
- Etching into items like chairs and desks or materials like glass and wood,
- Breaking items belonging to a family member,
- Breaking doors and windows,
- Keying car bodies and damaging car lights,
- Tagging with spray paint or markers,
- Damaging anyone’s property including mailboxes, plants, cars or other business or personal property. You must visit: feverbux.com
Vandalism is among the most common criminal charges in California. And while sometimes these acts are intentional, in many cases they are an unfortunate event involving your child being at the wrong time and place. In this case, their charges and the consequences can be significantly reduced.
But if your child was involved in an act of vandalism, you will be responsible for any property damage and any fees the court imposes as a penalty. Those accused of vandalism can be charged with a felony, which could lead to hefty fines, jail time, a “strike” or state prison.
How to Defend Your Child against Vandalism Charges
The initial vandalism charge, either a misdemeanor or felony, can be heavy. Additionally, in some cases, your child might face additional misdemeanor charges for possession of graffiti or tagging tools. The same goes for possession of glass cutters, etching tools and spray paint.
However, the prosecution needs to be able to prove intent as possession is not enough to convict your child. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help defend your child, as many of these accusations can be dismissed if intent cannot be proven.
Misdemeanor Vandalism Charge
If the damage your child caused during the act of vandalism is not higher than $400, they will be charged with a misdemeanor. The penalties for these circumstances include jail time and probation, fines and community service. If your child was convinced for painting graffiti or tagging, they will have to participate in a cleanup program with other additional probation conditions. The fines vary depending on whether this is their first offense and can range from $1000 to $5000.
Felony Vandalism Charge
If the damage amounts to $400 or more, if your child already has a criminal record or if the vandalism is deemed a “hate crime” they might face felony charges. If they are linked to a street gang they will probably get a strike under the “Three Strike Law”. If the damage is extreme or if the offense is repeated, your child could face state prison and fines as high as $10,000. With graffiti and tagging offenses, you might have to pay for repairs and your child will have to participate in a cleanup program.
Can the Conviction Be Expunged?
If your child was already charged with vandalism, these charges can be expunged once they complete their probation. In some cases, reducing the felony charge to a misdemeanor is possible. This will also reduce the penalties your family is faced with as the result of the vandalism charges.