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Criminal Mischief

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William A ProettaReviewsout of 30 reviews Keith G OliverReviewsout of 55 reviews

Bridgewater NJ Criminal Mischief Lawyers

If you have been arrested and charged with criminal mischief in Somerset or Hunterdon County, the criminal defense attorneys at Proetta & Oliver can help. Criminal mischief can either be a disorderly persons offense, which is New Jersey’s version of a misdemeanor or a third or fourth degree felony. As you will see below, the value of the property in question will be the sole factor in determining what degree a Defendant is charged with. Whether you have been charged with criminal mischief as a result of a verbal argument between loved ones, an alcohol driven incident or what can be chalked up to kids being kids, it is imperative that you speak to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. This is a serious criminal charge and if it is not handled properly it could leave a Defendant scarred with a criminal record let alone exposing them to incarceration. If you would like to speak to one of criminal defense attorneys about your options then please contact us at (908)533-1064.

More often than not, a Defendant charged with criminal mischief will also be charged with the crime of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, simple assault, trespassing, burglary or the possession of marijuana. If you have been charged with a crime in Somerset or Hunterdon County, let the criminal defense attorneys at Proetta & Oliver help. Our attorneys have been appearing in courts in towns like Clinton, Raritan, Hillsborough, Bernards, Bedminster, Flemington, South Plainfield, Bound Brook, Bridgewater or Watchung. If you would like to speak to one of our Somerset County criminal defense lawyers today about your options then please contact us at (NUMBER). We can go over the specific facts of your case and we will give you our honest feedback on how we can be of assistance. These are serious charges and should not be taken lightly. Do not let a simple mistake jeopardize your future. Now here is some more information on criminal mischief charges in New Jersey, including what the penalties are if convicted.

Criminal Mischief Attorneys in Bound Brook NJ

Criminal Mischief Charges in NJ: NJSA 2C:17-3

To be charged with criminal mischief in New Jersey is must be alleged that the Defendant damaged the property of another. This offense will be governed by NJSA 2C:17-3 in New Jersey. In order to be convicted of this offense, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the following elements:

  • That the Defendant damaged property;
  • The property damaged belonged to another person; &
  • In doing so, the Defendant acted purposely or knowingly.

If is not alleged that the Defendant acted purposely or knowingly, then the prosecution must prove the following elements:

  • That the Defendant damaged property;
  • That the damaged property belonged to another person;
  • In doing so, the Defendant acted recklessly or negligently; &
  • That the damage to the property was caused by Defendant’s use of fire, explosives or other dangerous means.

The term “property” has been defined as real or personal property that is visible, in other words, something that can be seen and touched. To “damage” has been defined as to cause a loss, injury  or deterioration that reduces either the value or usefulness of something. So basically anything can be considered property and anything can be considered damaged. Therefore, when it comes to defending these types of charges it is key to look at other aspects of the statute, including Defendant’s underlying intent and who owns the property in question. To speak to one of our Somerset and Hunterdon County criminal defense attorneys about your options please contact us at (908)533-1064.

How Much Jail Time on a Criminal Mischief Charge in NJ?

As stated earlier, criminal mischief can either be a disorderly persons offense or a third or fourth degree felony depending on the dollar amount of the property that is alleged to be damaged. Here is a helpful chart that not only breaks down the different degrees but also what the potential penalties are.

Degree

Value of the Property

Penalties

3rd Degree Criminal Mischief

More than $2,000

Jail Time: 3 to 5 Years

Fine: $15,000

Felony Criminal Record

Restitution

4th Degree Criminal Mischief

More than $500 but less than $2,000

Jail Time: 18 Months

Fine: $10,000

Felony Criminal Record

Restitution

Disorderly Persons Offense Criminal Mischief

Less than $500

Jail Time: 6 Months

Fine: $1,000

Criminal Record

Restitution

With that all being said, there are several diversionary programs that exist which a Defendant charged with criminal mischief may be able to take advantage of. Those programs include the Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI) and the Conditional Dismissal Program. Both of these programs could help keep a Defendant out of jail and without a criminal record. For more information on these programs, please contact us at (908)533-1064.

Criminal Mischief Lawyer in Readington NJ

Being charged with a criminal offense can be nerve wracking not only for the Defendant but their loved ones as well. However, hiring the right attorney, one that not only knows how to defend the charges but one that is also familiar with the courts can go a long way to alleviating the stress. If you have been accused of criminal mischief, aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of a child, stalking, terroristic threats, harassment or any other criminal offense, the lawyers at Proetta & Oliver can help. Our attorneys serve all of Somerset and Hunterdon County, including towns like Far Hill, Bernardsville, Clinton, Raritan, Rocky Hill, Flemington, Readington, Warren, Branchburg and Green Brook. If you would like to schedule a free consultation today, then please contact us at (908)533-1064. We are available around the clock to help assist in any way that we can.