Section 594 of the California Penal Code makes it illegal to destroy or damage personal property. This offense is typically a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in county jail.This one small section of sanctioned criminal offenses covers hundreds of variations of conduct which results in damage to personal property.
Damage can he give me caused by an intentional or negligent act. Examples of conduct is putting graffiti on public property, puncturing someones car tires, setting off a false fire alarm in a hotel causing fire sprinklers to turn on causing damage to the hotel’s lobby, kicking out the window of a police car by an angry suspect taken into custody, damage to a house as the result of a fraternity prank or throwing a person’s cell phone in the ocean by an angry loved one.. These examples are only a few of the conduct giving rise to a prosecution for malicious mischief.
The potential penalties for violation of this code section include probation, as well as fines, and possible jail time for more serious violations resulting in substantial damage to property. An important part of a sentence for one convicted, is restitution. Restitution, is the requirement that somebody reimburse the victim of the damage for any out-of-pocket expense associated with restoring or replacing the damaged property to its original condition.
Judges and prosecutors alike commonly take a careful look at the specific conduct of the person creating the damage, and this evaluation results in a wide variety of potential sentencing options. Having the benefits of an experienced San Diego Criminal Defense attorney protecting you can dramatically reduce the potential consequences of the mistake of damaging another’s property.
Making the victim whole, requires doing everything possible to restore the victim of the property damage to their pre-incident condition. Our firm believes that doing this at the earliest possible time, and prior to any plea-bargaining in regards to a consequence, dramatically benefits our clients by having their charge reduced or dismissed.