Malicious Mischief in Bremerton
Malicious mischief is defined in Washington State's legal code as the willful destruction of another person’s property. This is a serious charge in Washington State, and many people are surprised by the severity of the punishments.
Malicious mischief could be charged if you damage another person’s property with graffiti, vandalism, or at a construction site. Malicious mischief can also be charged if computer files are intentionally erased, or if there is any interference with electronic records. The penalties associated with a conviction for malicious mischief can be quite severe, so it's something that should be avoided at all costs. The value of the destroyed property determines the severity of the crime, so simply spray painting a wall with one dirty word can lead to a felony charge and prison time.
In order to better understand the charges you are facing, our Bremerton malicious mischief lawyers offer you the following information about this crime:
- First degree malicious mischief - This is the most serious malicious mischief charge occurs if the value of the damaged property exceeds $5000. This is a class B felony, and if you are convicted you could face up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $20,000.
- Second degree malicious mischief - This is the charge if the damaged property’s value was less than $5000 but more than $750. This is also a serious charge and is considered a Class C felony. If convicted of this crime, you could face up to 5 years in jail and fines of up to $10,000.
- Third degree malicious mischief - This is the least serious malicious mischief crime, and occurs if the value of the damaged property is less than $750. This is a gross misdemeanor, and if convicted you could face up to a 364 days in jail and fines of up to $5,000.
Our WA State malicious mischief attorneys have more than 50 years of combined criminal law experience handling these cases. Felony malicious mischief cases are heard in the Kitsap County Superior Court, which is located in Port Orchard. Less serious misdemeanor malicious mischief cases are heard in either the Kitsap County District Court, or the Municipal Courts of Port Orchard and Bremerton. If you or a loved one are facing the possibility of a malicious mischief conviction, let us help you to fight to avoid the life altering consequences that so often accompany this end result.Our Bremerton Malicious Mischief Lawyers can Help You Understand the Facts
Our Bremerton malicious mischief attorneys will conduct independent research to uncover details surrounding your arrest. They will also pursue all legal avenues to decide the best approach for your personal criminal defense.
Washington law requires that the prosecutor prove the value of the destroyed or damaged property. What that value is ultimately decides which degree of malicious mischief you’ll be charged with, and just a few dollars can mean the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony. It may be possible to dispute the value at which they arrive. If so, your Bremerton lawyer may be able to have your charges reduced. This could means the difference between a decade in prison or less than a year in jail.
As our experienced Bremerton malicious mischief lawyers review the details of your case, important evidence is sometimes uncovered. Some of the relevant evidence or important details we find could be used during negotiations with the prosecutor in an attempt to reduce your criminal punishment. We may even bring in expert testimony in order to assert the true value of the property that has been damaged. We’ve seen cases where a family heirloom is really worth much less than the victim claims, and that difference prevented prison time and thousands of dollars in fines.
Our Washington State criminal defense lawyers offer a free consultation, so contact us today. There is no obligation, and a professional litigator from our law office can answer your questions regarding malicious mischief and the penalties associated with a conviction. If you decide to retain one of our experienced lawyers, we will aggressively pursue justice on your behalf.
You should do everything possible to avoid, or lessen, the devastating consequences of a criminal malicious mischief conviction, so contact one of our attorneys today for your free consultation.