Recently, Texas football player Agiye Hall was suspended after being arrested on criminal mischief charges. He was charged with a Class B misdemeanor after damaging a vehicle boot.
Another recent high-profile criminal mischief case involves a Texas anchor who allegedly drove onto an unidentified man’s front lawn and steps, damaging them. She was trying to collect money she believed her husband was owed.
Criminal mischief is a property damage crime. It is covered under Texas Penal Code Chapter 28, Title 7.
- Intentionally or knowingly damaging or destroying the tangible property of an owner without the owner’s consent.
- Tempering with the tangible property of an owner and causing financial loss or substantial inconvenience to the owner or a third person
It is a Class C misdemeanor if the amount of damage is less than $100, a Class B misdemeanor if the damages are $100 to $750, and a Class A misdemeanor if damages are $750 to $2,500.
If damages exceed $2,500, the crime becomes a state jail felony. It becomes a third-degree felony if damages are $30,000 to $150,000. It’s a Class B felony if damages are between $150,000 to $300,000 and is a Class A felony if damages exceed $300,000.
Certain activities can also increase the severity of the crime. For example, if the damage was less than $2,500 but you did damage to a livestock fence, you may still be on the hook for a state jail felony. Other examples include interrupting public communications, transportation, gas, or power.
When defending these crimes, we can take a few approaches.
- We can prove you acted with the owner’s consent.
- We can prove you did not intentionally or knowingly damage or destroy the property.
- We can prove that you were not the person who damaged the property.
- Police violated your Constitutional rights while investigating the crime.
- There is insufficient evidence to charge you with the crime.
If defending the charges on one of those grounds is impossible, it may still be possible to help you. For example, we might be able to negotiate a deal that places you in a diversion program rather than sending you to jail.
If you’ve been charged with criminal mischief, don’t wait. Contact us today to get help from an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
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