Do not let your anger get the better of you. If you are caught vandalizing, destroying, or damaging property, you can be convicted of a crime in New Jersey.
You could face serious, life-altering consequences if convicted, so be sure to understand the charges you are facing and consult with an experienced NJ criminal defense attorney.
What is Vandalism?
Vandalism is generally considered the deliberate destruction or damage of the property of another.
In NJ, vandalism is labeled criminal mischief.
Criminal mischief takes on several forms.
Under N.J.S.A. 2C:17-3, if you purposefully or knowingly damage tangible property of another or damage it recklessly or negligently while using fire, explosives, or other dangerous means, you can be convicted of criminal mischief.
Similarly, you also can be convicted of criminal mischief if you are caught purposefully or knowingly tampering with the tangible property of another in order to endanger a person or their property.
Penalties for Vandalism in New Jersey
Criminal mischief is a serious crime in New Jerseyand you stand to lose a great deal if convicted.
The seriousness of your charge will directly depend on the monetary amount of damage you do.
If the damage you cause is valued at less than $500, you could be convicted of a disorderly persons offense.
If the damage you cause is valued between $500 and $2,000, you could be convicted of a fourth degree crime.
Likewise, if your act of vandalism involves digging up or tampering with gas lines, cable lines, or telecommunication lines, then you can be convicted of a fourth degree crime (regardless of what the value of the damage was).
If the damage you cause is valued at more than $2,000, you could be convicted of a third degree crime.
Moreover, if the damage you cause is done to a cemetery, grave site, mausoleum, or research property at a research facility, then you can be convicted of a third degree crime (regardless of what the value of the damage was).
Lastly, if the damage or vandalism causes an interruption or impairment of public transportation or utilities, then you can be convicted of a third degree crime (regardless of what the value of the damage was).
Like vandalism, graffiti charges fall under the category of criminal mischief and are handled mostly the same way.
However, if you are convicted of criminal mischief due to graffiti, you could be required to reimburse the property owner and can be required to perform community service involving the removal of your graffiti.
Who Should You Contact?
If you or a loved was recently charged with criminal mischief in NJ due to vandalism, contact Adam H. Rosenblum of The Rosenblum Law Firm today. Mr. Rosenblum is a skilled criminal defense attorney who has helped people in similar situations. He will defend your constitutional rights and do what he can to have your vandalism charges dismissed. E-mail or call him today at 888-815-3649.