Fair Lawn NJ Criminal Mischief Lawyer

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When a Defendant is charged with criminal mischief it usually arises out of a heat of the moment reaction and often times can be associated with more serious charges like trespassing, disorderly conduct, aggravated assault or even  burglary.  The most common “criminal mischief” acts consist of broken windows, spray painting, slashing of tires or even “egging” / toilet papering someones property. As you will see below the penalties which one faces will depend primarily upon the dollar amount of the damage caused.  

The governing statute in New Jersey for Criminal Mischief is N.J.S.A. 2C:17-3 and as you will see below this offense can be either a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor) or a second, third or fourth degree felony.  The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is an experienced Bergen County criminal defense firm. We have been defending individuals charged with criminal mischief throughout Bergen County in towns like Saddle Brook, Carlstadt, Bogota, Ridgefield Park, Ramsey and Lyndhurst for over fifteen years.  If you or a loved one has charged with criminal mischief in Bergen County we can help. Please contact our Hackensack Office at 201-429-9783 for a free initial consultations about your pending charges. Our attorneys are available 24-7 to help assist in any way possible.  Here is some further information with regards to the criminal mischief offense.

Criminal Mischief Attorneys in East Rutherford: N.J.S.A. 2C:17-3

The Legislatures have purposely left the statute of Criminal Mischief broad so that it can cover a wide range of conduct. Before a defendant can be convicted, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the  defendant either purposely or knowingly damaged tangible property of another or damaged tangible property of another recklessly or negligently as the result of some dangerous activities such as a fire. In addition, they may also prove criminal mischief if they can show that the defendant either purposely, knowingly or recklessly tampered with tangible property of another so as to endanger another person or property.  As you can tell, the statue allows for all sorts of conduct, however, as you will see below the applicable penalties will depend on the grading of the offense.

Grading of the Offense & Potential Penalties:

As stated earlier, the grading of the offense will be determined by the pecuniary value of the tangible property that was damaged. Here is the breakdown:

          • Third Degree Offense: Tangible Property Damaged was valued at $2,000.00 or more.
              • A conviction for a third degree crime can carry a three – five year prison sentence.
          • Fourth Degree Offense: Tangible Property Damage was valued between $500.00 and $2,000.00
              • A conviction for a fourth degree crime can carry up to eighteen months in a state prison.
          • Disorderly Persons Offense: Tangible Property Damage was valued at $500.00 or less
              • A conviction for a disorderly person offense carries up to six months in the Bergen County Jail.

As a side note, often times the offense of criminal mischief becomes a difficult offense to actually charge someone with due to the fact that their are usually no witness to act that lead to the damaged property. With that being said, police usually need to conduct an in-depth investigations and these usually consist of interviewing potential defendants.  Therefore, it is imperative for you to remember that speaking to law enforcement prior speaking to an attorney can be very dangerous as any statements you make will be used against you in a criminal prosecution. If you would like to discuss your options with one of the eight criminal defense attorneys on staff prior to speaking with law enforcement, please contact us directly at 201-429-9783. 

Lodi NJ Criminal Mischief Attorneys

The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall has over 100 years of combined experience on staff. We have eight attorneys on staff who devote their entire legal practice to criminal defense. If you or a someone you know has been charged with criminal mischief, simple assault, stalking, shoplifting, theft of moveable property, obstruction or find themselves being charged with a final restraining order in towns like BergenfieldPalisades Interstate Park, Fort Lee, Saddle Brook, River Vale, Montvale and Garfield it is imperative that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney about your options. If you have any further questions please contact any one of our Bergen County Offices at 201-429-9783 for a free initial consultation.