Criminal mischief is the legal term for any form of property destruction under Texas criminal law. This type of crime can include a vast array of acts; the damage could be either accidental or deliberate; it can be the result of some other type of dispute; or it can be an act all on its own. If you are facing a criminal mischief charge, it’s important that you know why you’re being charged with this crime and what consequences you are likely to face.
What Can Be Recognized as Criminal Mischief in Texas?
If you have been called to court on account of criminal mischief charges in Texas, the prosecution has reason to believe that you:
- Purposely and/or knowingly damaged someone’s property
- Purposely and/or knowingly tampered with someone’s property that resulted in further damage or inconvenience
- Made written marks, graffiti, inscriptions, or drawings on someone’s property
What Are the Different Kinds of Criminal Mischief Charges?
Many criminal mischief charges are considered misdemeanors in the state of Texas, but the type of misdemeanor will depend on the specific circumstances of the offense and the value of damage that was done to the property.
- Class C misdemeanor: your criminal charge could be a Class C misdemeanor if the damage done was valued less than $100 or caused a substantial inconvenience to others. This can lead to a $500 fine.
- Class B misdemeanor: This type of misdemeanor will result in 180 days in jail and fines up to $2,000. Your criminal mischief charge could be a Class B misdemeanor if the damage done is valued between $100 and $750.
- Class A misdemeanor: You could be facing a Class A misdemeanor if the damage done is valued between $750 and $2,500, and/or if your criminal mischief caused a significant interruption in any type of public service. This is punishable by up to one year in jail and up to $4,000 in fines.
If your criminal mischief damage is valued higher than $1,500, you could be facing a state jail felony charge. Fortunately, the Goolsby Law Firm criminal defense lawyers can expertly represent you in court and help you get the best outcome for your case. Contact us today for a free consultation.