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It is against the law in California to deface, damage or destroy someone else's property without the property's owner's permission. This is a crime that is referred to as vandalism. One common type of vandalism is the act of defacing a property with graffiti or other inscribed material. A few examples of the different types of property that can be defaced, damaged or destroyed through vandalism include real property (such as buildings), public property, signs, vehicles and furnishings. Vandalism is a common juvenile crime, though many adults are charged with this offense as well. The penalties given for vandalism convictions depend on the amount of damage that occurred as a result of the offense.
Were you or your minor child charged with vandalism? If so, the Law Office of Nicolai Cocis can provide you with hard-hitting defense. Murrieta criminal defense Attorney Nicolai Cocis has been practicing law since 1999, so he is well-equipped to serve as your legal advocate! Our criminal defense team is ready to protect your rights and help you seek a positive outcome to your criminal case.
Penalties for Vandalism in Riverside County
As mentioned, it is the amount of damage sustained that determines what the penalties for a vandalism conviction will be.
- According to California Penal Code 594, the following amounts of damages will result in the following penalties:
- Less than $400 in damages—up to one year in jail and/or fine of up to $1,000 (maximum fine increases to $5,000 for repeat offenses)
- $400 or more in damages—up to one year in jail or up to three years in jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000
- More than $10,000 in damages—imprisonment and/or fine of up to $50,000
If the defendant is a minor and is unable to pay the fine, the parent is held liable for the financial penalty. Defendants who are convicted of graffiti-related vandalism offenses can be ordered by the court to personally clean, repair or replace the damaged property. If the court wants to go a step further, it can even order the defendant to personally keep that property or another property within the community graffiti-free for as long a year.
With a strong defense plan, you may be able to avoid being convicted and penalized—you may at least be able to minimize the negative consequences of a conviction. Since 1999, we have helped countless adults and juveniles from Murrieta, Temecula, Menifee, Wildomar, Lake Elsinore, Hemet, Perris, Banning, Corona, Winchester and Riverside. We can help you too!
Contact us at the Law Office of Nicolai Cocis so we can provide you with a strong line of defense. Since we offer free case evaluations, you have nothing to lose by discussing your criminal case with us!
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