There are several acts of criminal mischief which can result in a vandalism charge.
This includes crimes against another person’s property, such as:
- painting graffiti;
- breaking windows;
- throwing eggs at someone’s house;
- throwing rocks at cars;
- slashing car tires;
- damaging abandoned houses; and
- damaging schools or businesses.
Unfortunately, what often starts out as a harmless prank can lead to serious consequences. If your child is found guilty of vandalism in Florida, then you may be responsible for paying restitution to the offended property owner. Furthermore, a criminal mischief conviction may result in fines of more than $1,000, community service hours and a permanent criminal record. This can harm a child’s future opportunities for college admission and employment.
If your child has been charged with vandalism in Florida, you should seek help from a Miami juvenile criminal defense lawyer. A Miami juvenile criminal defense lawyer may be able to help your child beat or reduce their vandalism charge.
Charges for Vandalism in Florida
According to Florida statutes, if a vandalism charge is from damage that is equal to $200 or less, then the charge will be classified as a misdemeanor of the second degree. If a vandalism charge is from damage that is equal to more than $200 but less than $1,000, then the charge will be classified as a misdemeanor of the first degree.
If a vandalism charge is from damage that is greater than $1,000, or if water, gas or power supplies or other public services, such as transportation, are cut off that cost more than $1,000 to fix, then the charge will be classified as a misdemeanor of the third degree.
Vandalism Charge for Graffiti
According to Florida statutes, when a vandalism charge is related to painting graffiti, a convicted juvenile offender will be required to pay a fine of:
- not less than $250 for a first conviction;
- not less than $500 for a second conviction; and
- not less than $1,000 for a third or subsequent conviction.
In addition to fines, an offender will be required to perform at least 40 hours of community service and, if possible, at least 100 hours of community service that involves the removal of graffiti. This is in addition to other criminal penalties associated with a vandalism charge.
Driver’s License Suspension for Vandalism in Florida
When convicted of vandalism in Florida, a juvenile may face a suspension of their Florida driver’s license. If this happens, the juvenile may choose to reduce the period of their driver’s license suspension by performing community service. The rate of this reduction will be 1 day for every hour of community service performed.
In this case, the community service will be to clean graffiti from public property.
How a Miami Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help
If your child has been arrested or is facing criminal charges for vandalism in Florida, an experienced Miami juvenile criminal defense lawyer can investigate your case and may be able to prove that your child is not guilty of vandalism. If there is enough evidence to convict your child of a vandalism charge, then your lawyer may be able to negotiate a plea bargain in some instances.
By striking a plea bargain with the state’s attorney, you can reduce the severity of the criminal penalties related to a vandalism charge. If, on the other hand, you choose not to accept a plea, then your lawyer can represent your interests in a formal court of law.
Contacting a Miami Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are facing juvenile criminal charges in South Florida, your legal team is your best defense. Contact the Miami juvenile criminal defense lawyer team at Falk & Ross to discuss your case – 877-663-5110.