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Criminal Mischief Lawyer in San Antonio

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In Texas, the offense of criminal mischief involves damage or destruction of property in the form of deliberate vandalism, wanton destruction of property, and sometimes even arson. Graffiti can also be prosecuted as criminal mischief, although a separate offense exists for this type of damage.

If arrested for criminal mischief, you might be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances.

What Conduct Is Prohibited?

Texas criminal mischief statutes prohibit crimes against tangible property including real estate and personal property but excluding intangible property such as patents and copyrights.

More specifically, it prohibits:

  • Intentionally damaging or destroying property,
  • tampering with property in a way that harms it or inconveniences its owner, or
  • affixing markings or inscriptions onto property.

Penalties

Penalties for a conviction of criminal mischief are partly determined by the dollar amount of the owner’s loss – a Class C misdemeanor (no jail) if under $50, a Class B misdemeanor (up to 180 days) if under $500, and a Class A misdemeanor (up to a year) if under $1,500. If the amount of damage is $1,500 or more, you can be charged with a felony. Felonies are also classified in terms of seriousness- prison terms escalate the greater the amount of the loss. At the top end, a loss of at least $200,000 can result in a prison sentence of up to 99 years. Stiff fines apply to all of these charges and may be imposed even if you don’t go to jail.

Certain factors other than the value of the loss can come into play when determining the penalty for criminal mischief. For example, damaging a home, church, or cemetery with a firearm or a bomb is an automatic felony regardless of the amount of damage.

If you are prosecuted under the separate graffiti statute, the penalties are nearly identical to those stated above. It seems hard to believe that you could be sentenced to 9 years in prison for graffiti, but it is possible under Texas law.

An Attorney Who Will Fight for You

A criminal mischief charge could cause you a world of problems even if you are not guilty. If convicted, you will face a lifetime criminal record and perhaps even time in jail. There is no need for you to simply submit to a prosecutor. At Corley Legal, our San Antonio criminal mischief lawyer will act without hesitation to aggressively defend you against the prosecution, and our legal team will confront witnesses against you in open court. Call Corley Legal any time, 24/7, at ((210) 361-7322 to schedule a free consultation. You can trust our criminal mischief attorney in San Antonio to provide you with the strong representation you need and deserve.

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