Call the Law Offices of Nam Q. Doan if you have been arrested for committing vandalism. Vandalism is defined in California Penal Code 594.
Vandalism is committed when you maliciously commit the following acts on property that does not belong to you:
- Defaces with graffiti
If the amount of damages is four hundred dollars ($400) or more, the vandalism can be charged as a felony with a punishment of up to three years in state prison and a one thousand dollar ($1,000) fine.
If the amount of damages is less than four hundred dollars ($400), the vandalism can only be charged as a misdemeanor. You can face to up one year in jail and a one thousand dollar ($1,000) fine if convicted.
The punishment you face can increase depending on certain circumstances.
There are several different types of punishment you may be facing if convicted of vandalism. Vandalism can be a misdemeanor or a felony. The punishment varies by the amount of damages. Vandalism punishment can also increase if the crime is deemed a hate crime or gang related. Below you will see the different types of punishment available.
Misdemeanor Vandalism – Damages less than $400
If the damages caused by the alleged vandalism are less than four hundred dollars ($400), you can only be charged with a misdemeanor. The punishment for a misdemeanor vandalism conviction is up to one year in jail and a one thousand dollar ($1,000) fine.
Vandalism – Damages $400 or More
If the damages caused by the alleged vandalism are four hundred dollars ($400) or more, the prosecution has discretion to charge the crime as a felony or a misdemeanor. This basically means the prosecution will charge you with a felony. The punishment for a felony vandalism can be up to three years in state prison and a ten thousand dollar ($10,000) fine.
If damages from the vandalism was over $10,000, the fine you face could be up to fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).
Prior Vandalism Conviction
If you are convicted of vandalism with damages less than $400, and you have a prior conviction for vandalism on your record, you can face up to one year in jail and up to a five thousand dollar ($5,000) fine.
Driver’s License Suspension
The court can order your driver’s license to be suspended for up to two years. The court can order this even if car vandalism is not involved.
Hate Crime – Vandalism on a Church
If the vandalism was alleged to have been done to a church, it can be deemed as a hate crime. This vandalism crime can be charged as a felony and you can face up to three years in prison if convicted.
If the vandalism is gang related, your punishment can be increased to an additional four years in prison. This can also be considered a strike under the California Three Strikes Law.
The defendant is charged with vandalism in violation of Penal Code section 594.
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that:
1. The defendant maliciously (defaced with graffiti or with other inscribed material[,]/ [or] damaged[,]/ [or] destroyed) (real/ [or] personal) property;
2. The defendant (did not own the property/owned the property with someone else)(;/.)
3. The amount of damage caused by the vandalism was $400 or more.]
If you ﬁnd the defendant guilty of vandalism you must then decide whether the People have proved that the amount of damage caused by the vandalism was $400 or more. [If you decide that the amount of damage was $400 or more, you must then decide whether the People have proved that the damage was also $10,000 or more.]
The People have the burden of proving this allegation beyond a reasonable doubt. If the People have not met this burden, you must ﬁnd that this allegation has not been proved.
Someone acts maliciously when he or she intentionally does a wrongful act or when he or she acts with the unlawful intent to annoy or injure someone else.
Graffiti or other inscribed material includes an unauthorized inscription, word, ﬁgure, mark, or design that is written, marked, etched, scratched, drawn, or painted on real or personal property.
There are several defenses available. The defenses will depend on the facts of your case. This is why it is important to speak with an Orange County/Los Angeles Vandalism Attorney. At the Law Offices of Nam Q. Doan, I will provide you with quality legal representation at an affordable price. I am a Vandalism Attorney working all over Southern California including Orange County, Los Angeles, and the Inland Empire. I take pride in getting my clients results. Call today at (714) 248-DOAN (3626).