Malicious Mischief in Washington
Malicious Mischief, also known as vandalism, is a crime that involves intentionally damaging or destroying property belonging to another person in Washington. While it may be perceived as a relatively minor offense, Malicious Mischief can have serious consequences, for both the perpetrator and the victim. Due to Malicious Mischief being commonly associated with domestic violence cases in Washington, these charges can become quite complex. For defense firms, understanding the nuances of Malicious Mischief cases is crucial in providing effective legal counsel and ensuring justice is served. In this blog post, we will explore the legal definition of Malicious Mischief, the various types of Malicious Mischief, and the role of defense firms in protecting the rights of the accused of this offense. The Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer has taken on a large number of these cases in Washington and is highly knowledgeable, experienced, and ready to defend your case.
What are the penalties of a Malicious Mischief conviction?
Malicious Mischief is the knowingly and malicious destruction of property as stated in the Revised Code of Washington. Ranging from a Gross Misdemeanor to Class B Felony, Malicious Mischief charges can amount up to be quite serious depending on a number of factors, the most common being the dollar amount of damage caused.
Malicious Mischief in the 1st Degree: Malicious Mischief in the First Degree is charged when one causes damage to real or personal property totalling more than $5,000.00. Tampering with public utilities, ballots, emergency vehicles, public transportation, and other properties of the state that results in the impairment or interruption of services is also considered Malicious Mischief in the First Degree. This charge is a Class B Felony and can carry up to 10 years in prison and up to a $20,000.00 fine.
Malicious Mischief in the 2nd Degree: Malicious Mischief in the Second Degree is classified as damage to real or personal property exceeding $750.00 but is less than $5,000.00 in total. Tampering with public utilities, ballots, emergency vehicles, public transportation, or other properties of the state also results in a Malicious Mischief charge in the Second Degree. This crime is considered a Class C Felony and punishable by up to 5 years in prison, and up to a $10,000.00 fine.
Malicious Mischief in the 3rd Degree: Malicious Mischief in the Third Degree is considered to be painting, marking, or writing on private or public buildings without the express consent of the owner. Graffiti for example, is one of the most common acts of Malicious in the Third Degree. Malicious Mischief in the Third Degree is classified as a Gross Misdemeanor, which can carry up to a 364 days in jail, and up to $5,000.00 in fines.
Malicious Mischief in domestic violence cases
In domestic violence cases it is not uncommon for there to be a Malicious Mischief charge somewhere in the mix. Having a fight with a family member or intimate partner and destroying property can easily result in a Malicious Mischief charge. If a dispute escalates into a physical altercation between spouses, the property damaged during the incident which may be jointly owned can still possibly result in potential Malicious Mischief charges for the person who destroyed the piece of property.
Is restitution possible?
A typical Malicious Mischief charge excluding the involvement of domestic violence, often has a form of restitution to pay back the person whose property was damaged. However, cases related to domestic violence charges do not allow for that kind of exchange due to the Compromise of Misdemeanors Law in the state of Washington. The involvement of domestic violence can make a Malicious Mischief charge even more serious and harder to navigate without legal counsel due to the aggressive nature of prosecution. Even if a victim has decided they would like to drop charges and or move the case along in a specific direction they will not be in charge of prosecuting the case and ultimately will not have a say in how the case is handled.
What can we do for you?
Hiring a lawyer will be the best decision you can make in order to protect your rights. The Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer has a number of attorneys who are passionate about their clients, and will defend you in court to the fullest extent of the law. With the potential complexities of Malicious Mischief charges, it is imperative that you obtain representation in order to safeguard your future and freedom.
Call the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer today at (360) 334-6277 and schedule your free and confidential consultation.