Criminal Mischief/Vandalism

New Jersey Mischief/Vandalism Defense Lawyers

In New Jersey, intentionally damaging or tampering with someone else’s property is the crime of criminal mischief, which is defined at N.J.S.A. 2C:17-3. Criminal mischief is a very broad crime, which includes all sorts of conduct, from the relatively minor to the very serious. Things like vandalism, graffiti, and defacing or knocking over a headstone at a cemetery are all acts of criminal mischief. Often times, when you have young people who are “just causing trouble” or “horsing around” they are potentially committing the crime of criminal mischief. The crime also includes things like “trashing” a hotel room, knocking over garbage cans, damaging a rental/vacation home, interfering with someone’s pipes, electricity, and other utilities, etc.

The seriousness of a criminal mischief charge depends on how much damage is caused. A defendant will almost always have to pay back the owner for the damages – this is known as restitution. Criminal mischief is a crime in the 3rd degree if there is more than $2,000 in damage or if the vandalism occurred at a research facility or cemetery/graveyard, which carries a potential jail sentence of 3 to 5 years and a fine up to $15,000. Criminal mischief is a crime in the 4th degree if the damage is more than $500 but less than $2,000, or if the vandalism involves tampering with the utilities. Otherwise, criminal mischief is a disorder persons offense. Also, anyone convicted of defacing property with graffiti could receive at least 20 days of community service.

Mischief/Vandalism Criminal Defense Lawyer Approach (Why Us?)

A person charged with criminal mischief could be facing a sentence of several years in prison, along with high fines and other penalties. If you are charged with such a crime you will need a lawyer to protect your rights. Besides the normal penalties, a conviction or guilty plea could seriously affect a person for years into the future. Our firm will fight vigorously for you and help you achieve the best results for your criminal mischief case. We are skilled at analyzing the evidence that the state intends to use against you and we fight to exploit any holes in the prosecutor’s case. We also spend a considerable amount of time in negotiating with the prosecutor so that our client’s get the best plea offers possible. Once a plea offer is made, we counsel our clients about whether it makes sense to accept a plea offer or take their case to trial, where the prosecutor would have to prove all of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

Vandalism/Mischeif Defense Lawyer Free Consultation

If you are charged with any crime, please call us right away for a 100% FREE CONSULTATION, on the phone or in our office. We will review the court documents with you and advise you on what we can do to help you. Remember, the prosecutor’s job is to put people charged with crimes in jail. The prosecutor will not simply listen to your side of the story and drop the case against you. It is important to be represented by a skilled criminal defense attorney.
Please contact us today!
Raff & Raff, LLP
Attorneys at Law
30 Church Street
Paterson, NJ 07505
Tel: (973) 742-1917
Fax: (973) 742-2454


Based in Paterson, New Jersey, Raff & Raff, LLP services clients in the communities of Bloomingdale, Clifton, Haledon, Hawthorne, Little Falls, Passaic, Paterson, Pompton Lakes, Prospect Park, Ringwood, Totowa, Wanaque, Wayne, West Milford, Woodland Park, Allendale, Alpine, Bergenfield, Bogota, Carlstadt, Cliffside Park, Closter, Cresskill, Demarest, Dumont, East Rutherford, Edgewater, Elmwood Park, Emerson, Englewood, Fair Lawn, Fort Lee, Franklin Lakes, Garfield, Glenn Rock, Hackensack, Hasbrouck Heights, Haworth, Hillsdale, Ho-Ho-Kus, Leonia, Little Ferry, Lodi, Lyndhurst, Mahwah, Maywood, Midland Park, Montvale, Moonachie, New Milford, North Arlington, Northvale, Norwood, Oakland, Old Tappan, Oradell, Palisades Park, Paramus, Park Ridge, Ramsey, Ridgefield, Ridgewood, River Edge, River Vale, Rochelle Park, Rockleigh, Rutherford, Saddle Brook, Saddle River, Teaneck, Tenafly, Teterboro, Waldwick, Wallington, Westwood, Wood-Ridge, Woodcliff Lake, Wyckoff, Belleville, Bloomfield, Caldwell, Cedar Grove, Orange, Essex Fells, Fairfield, Glen Ridge, Irvington, Livingston, Maplewood, Millburn, Montclair, Newark, North Caldwell, Nutley, Roseland, Verona, Bayonne, Jersey City, Hoboken, Union City, West New York, Guttenberg, Secaucus, Kearney, Harrison, North Bergen, Weehawken, Elizabeth, Linden, Plainsfield, Rahway, Union, Scotch Plains, Clark, Cranford, Hillside, Westfield, Roselle, and surrounding areas.