806.13. Criminal Mischief.

Criminal Mischief is a categorized both as a Misdemeanor and a Felony in Florida.

Classification depends on the dollar amount of the alleged damage.

The offense of Criminal Mischief occurs when a person:

(1) willfully and maliciously injures or damages by any means any real or personal property belonging to another, including, but not limited to, the placement of graffiti thereon or other acts of vandalism thereto.

The offense classification depends on –

Misdemeanor Criminal Mischief:

1. If the damage to such property is $200 or less, it is a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable by up to 60-days in the county jail or one year probation or a combination of both.

2. If the damage to such property is greater than $200 but less than $1,000, it is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by up to one year in the county jail or one year probation or a combination of both.

Felony Criminal Mischief:

3. If the damage is $1,000 or greater, or if there is interruption or impairment of a business operation or public communication, transportation, supply of water, gas or power, or other public service which costs $1,000 or more in labor and supplies to restore, it is a felony of the third degree punishable by up to five years in prison or five years probation or a combination of both.

4. If the person has one or more previous convictions for violating the misdemeanor statute, the offense for which the person is charged shall be reclassified as a felony of the third degree.

5. Any person who willfully and maliciously defaces, injures, or damages by any means any church, synagogue, mosque, or other place of worship, or any religious article contained therein, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable by up to five years in prison or five years probation or a combination of both.

6. Whoever, without the consent of the owner thereof, willfully destroys or substantially damages any public telephone, or telephone cables, wires, fixtures, antennas, amplifiers, or any other apparatus, equipment, or appliances, which destruction or damage renders a public telephone inoperative or which opens the body of a public telephone, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable by up to five years in prison or five years probation or a combination of both.

7. Any person who willfully and maliciously defaces, injures, or damages by any means a sexually violent predator detention or commitment facility commits a felony of the third degree, punishable by up to five years in prison or five years probation or a combination of both if the damage to property is greater than $200.

Special Graffiti Provisions

When the violation is related to the placement of graffiti shall, the offender in addition to any other criminal penalty, shall be required to pay a fine of:

1. Not less than $250 for a first conviction.

2. Not less than $500 for a second conviction.

3. Not less than $1,000 for a third or subsequent conviction.

Any person convicted under this section when the offense is related to the placement of graffiti shall, in addition to any other criminal penalty, be required to perform at least 40 hours of community service and, if possible, perform at least 100 hours of community service that involves the removal of graffiti.

If a minor commits a delinquent act prohibited under paragraph (a), the parent or legal guardian of the minor is liable along with the minor for payment of the fine. The court may decline to order a person to pay a fine under paragraph (a) if the court finds that the person is indigent and does not have the ability to pay the fine or if the court finds that the person does not have the ability to pay the fine whether or not the person is indigent.

In addition to any other penalty provided by law, if a minor is found to have committed a delinquent act under this section for placing graffiti on any public property or private property, and:

Driving Privilege Suspended for Minors

The minor is eligible by reason of age for a driver license or driving privilege, the court may direct the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to revoke or withhold issuance of the minor’s driver license or driving privilege for not more than 1 year.

The minor’s driver license or driving privilege is under suspension or revocation for any reason, the court may direct the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to extend the period of suspension or revocation by an additional period of not more than 1 year.

The minor is ineligible by reason of age for a driver license or driving privilege, the court may direct the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to withhold issuance of the minor’s driver license or driving privilege for not more than 1 year after the date on which he or she would otherwise have become eligible.

A minor whose driver license or driving privilege is revoked, suspended, or withheld under subsection (7) may elect to reduce the period of revocation, suspension, or withholding by performing community service at the rate of 1 day for each hour of community service performed. In addition, if the court determines that due to a family hardship, the minor’s driver license or driving privilege is necessary for employment or medical purposes of the minor or a member of the minor’s family, the court shall order the minor to perform community service and reduce the period of revocation, suspension, or withholding at the rate of 1 day for each hour of community service performed. As used in this subsection, the term “community service” means cleaning graffiti from public property.

Some of the Defenses to Criminal Mischief are:

  • The State cannot prove the threshold dollar amount of the offense.
  • The Defendant did not intend to commit the offense of Criminal Mischief as the offense is a specific intent offense. 

There are other possible defenses which I can explore with you during our Free Initial Consultation. 

Contact Criminal Defense Attorney
Glenn M. Swiatek

Free Initial Consultation

Call us today at (850) 609‑0940 or send this form if you have been arrested, or believe you will soon be arrested, for the offense of Misdemeanor or Felony Criminal Mischief in Northwest Florida.

Initial Office Consults are free, and I will make myself available to suit your schedule.

Get the peace of mind that an attorney with over twenty-three years of criminal law experience can bring when you are charged with Misdemeanor or Felony Criminal Mischief.

References:

Specific Intent –  Insignares v. State, 847 So. 2d 1063, 2003 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2003)

Speculative Threshold Dollar Amount –  Sanchez v. State, 270 So. 3d 515 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2019)

Accidental Damage and Transferred Intent – J.G. v. State, 655 So. 2d 1284 (1995)