Malicious Mischief

Sometimes in the heat of an argument, things get broken. A door may be kicked in, or an antique vase may be shattered. Electronics equipment may get knocked over and damaged, or a wall may be damaged. Depending on the circumstances, such actions may result in charges of malicious mischief.

At the law firm of Matthew R. Hoff, Attorney at Law, in Vancouver, Washington, I provide skilled criminal defense representation for people accused of a wide range of crimes, including malicious mischief. Contact my offices today for a free initial consultation.

Understanding Malicious Mischief Allegations

Malicious mischief is a crime of property damage. In order to convict someone of malicious mischief, the prosecutor must prove the damage done to the property was not accidental. A person is guilty of malicious mischief when he or she “knowingly or maliciously” causes physical damage to another person’s property.

This damage may arise out of vandalism, such as tagging, but often times it is one of the crimes affiliated with domestic violence allegations. However, what if the item you are accused of destroying was yours and was never the property of the alleged victim? What if the item you are accused of destroying you owned prior to your relationship with your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend or partner? What if the item you are accused of destroying was accidentally damaged? Or damaged by the alleged victim in a fit of rage? I ask these questions because these are re-current themes in this type of case. Let me assist you brining these issues to light and challenge the prosecutor’s case head on.

The particular charge will be based upon the amount of the alleged property damage.

  • Malicious Mischief in the First Degree: This offense is a Class B Felony, and is charged when the alleged property damage is valued at more than $1500.00.
  • Malicious Mischief in the Second Degree: This offense is a Class C Felony, and is charged when the alleged property damage is valued at more than $250.00 but less than $1500.00.
  • Malicious Mischief in the Third Degree: This offense can be a misdemeanor or a gross misdemeanor, based upon the cost of the property damage. If the damage is valued at less than $50.00, the charge is a misdemeanor; if the damage is valued at more than $50.00 dollars but less than $250.00, the offense is a gross misdemeanor.

In order to convict you of Malicious Mischief in the First, Second, or Third Degree the prosecutor must also prove the value of the property allegedly destroyed. The practice of law is not an exact science but guessing value is not appropriate either. Let me assist you in addressing all the issues germane to defending a charge of malicious mischief

I have extensive experience handling all types of domestic violence crimes. I understand how to effectively address these charges, and the issues to consider when developing a defense. Whether I am entering into negotiations or preparing for trial, this knowledge allows me to aggressively defend my clients’ rights and interests.

Contact me today for a free initial consultation regarding malicious mischief charges.