Austin Criminal Mischief Lawyer
Understanding Texas’ Criminal Mischief Laws
Under Texas law, criminal mischief has several elements that make up this offense, all of which must be proven by a prosecutor in order to obtain a conviction. It is essentially a property crime that may involve vandalism or the defacing of structures as with graffiti. It may be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the value of the monetary loss involved to the property. While felonies are more serious than misdemeanor charges, any criminal charge can have a negative impact on your future if it results in a conviction. A permanent criminal record can lead to problems finding employment, qualifying for rental housing or for educational opportunities.
At The Law Office of Will Mitchell, we concentrate our entire practice on the defense of criminal charges. That means our Austin criminal mischief defense attorney handles this field of law day in and day out which has led to years of focused experience and knowledge. You have a right to the best defense you can present in court which could lead to charges being dropped or reduced or to reduced sentencing. Your chances of securing a favorable result are best sought with the help of a skilled criminal defense lawyer such as Attorney Mitchell. Our firm can put together an effective defense strategy after careful review of all of the facts surrounding your arrest looking for weaknesses or areas of doubt in a prosecutor’s case.
What is Criminal Mischief?
The elements of criminal mischief under Texas law which must be proven include:
- You acted with intent and knowledge of what you were doing
- You acted without the permission of the property owner
- You either damaged or destroyed property, tampered with property resulting in a monetary loss or significant inconvenience to the property owner or someone else, or you defaced the property with markings or drawings
Classifications of Criminal Mischief
Criminal mischief is charged based on the value of monetary loss that was inflicted on the property:
- It is charged as a Class C misdemeanor when the monetary loss was less than $50 or it caused the inconvenience as mentioned above
- It is charged as a Class B misdemeanor when the monetary loss ranged between $50 and $500
- It is charged as a Class A misdemeanor when the monetary loss ranged between $500 and $1500
- It is charged as a state jail felony when the monetary loss ranged between $1500 and $20,000
- It is charged as a third-degree felony when the monetary loss ranged between $20,000 and $100,000
- It is charged as a second-degree felony when the monetary loss ranged between $100,000 and $200,000
- It is charged as a first-degree felony when the monetary loss was $200,000 or more
What are the Penalties for Criminal Mischief?
The penalties for criminal mischief include:
- Misdemeanors generally involve up to a year in jail and/or fines of $500 up to $4,000.
- Felonies are more serious with penalties including $10,000 in fines and jail terms of 180 days to two years or prison terms of two up to 99 years.
Criminal mischief can involve damage to homes, businesses, vehicles, schools, and any public or private property. Examples would include breaking windows, keying the paint job on a car, and spray painting any structure with graffiti as well as destroying fences, doors, floors, tearing out plumbing fixtures, and more.
The Law Office of Will Mitchell Provides Skillful Legal Defense
A criminal mischief charge may sound insignificant. However, when it comes to property damage, Texas law takes this matter seriously. Your life can be dramatically changed with a conviction which means you need to put forth an equally strong defense. You can count on the dedication and competence of our firm where we will do everything possible to fight for your best outcome.
Reach out to us at (512) 858-8611 for the help you need today.
"I can't say enough amazing things about Will Mitchell. My case was dismissed (I didn't think we had a shot) and now just signed a petition for it to be removed for good. I'm typically a little ..."Alissa H.
"Will is great and really helped me during a time of need."Nathan A.
"Will Mitchell did an amazing job getting my case dismissed! After failed attempts with several other top attorneys in Austin Will was able to fight for me to get my life back on track. I’m very ..."Former Client
"I reached out to Will after finding his name through a Google search. I was not looking for DWI consultation but for unpaid tickets and a suspended license issue. He was very personable on the phone, ..."Former Client
"An amazing lawyer that's friendly and has a deep knowledge of the court system. He kicks butt!"Michael A.
"I will forever be grateful for Will! He helped me get through one of the hardest times of my life. I was so scared when I first walked into his office for a consultation because my case was bad. He ..."Jessica P.
"Very helpful and knowledgeable! Thank you."Jaime W.
"Will was a lifesaver for me. He helped me put together documentation that resulted in having a felony dropped to a misdemeanor. Olivia, his assistant, is awesome also. I had Will's cell number and was ..."Kalyn S.
"Will was knowledgeable and professional."Charles K.
"Will is a fantastic lawyer. He is detail-oriented, organized, responsive, knows the law well, and is very connected in Texas. His office support is top-notch as well. I would hire him again in a ..."Former Client
"Mr. Mitchell is an intelligent, qualified, and effective person to have represent you. When Will says he can handle a case, he means it. Always a straight shooter, I felt I was in good hands and would ..."Jon N.
"Will is awesome!!! Great lawyer!! Super friendly, knowledgeable, and hands down the best lawyer to have on your case! Will and Olivia (his assistant) were always there to answer any questions I had ..."Whitney C.