Criminal Mischief : Austin Criminal Mischief Attorney Jason Trumpler By Jason Trumpler, P.C. on February 25, 2018

Austin Criminal Mischief Attorney Jason Trumpler

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Criminal mischief in the State of Texas is often called vandalism in other states. In the State of Texas, criminal mischief is governed by Texas Penal Code Section 28.03. Criminal mischief is destroying or damaging another's property. The statute states that a person commits the offense if, without the consent of the owner, he or she intentionally or knowingly:
  1. Damages or destroys another's property;
  2. Tampers with another's tangible property and causes that person financial loss or substantial inconvenience; or,
  3. Marks up the physical property of another.
Keying a car qualifies as criminal mischief. Most often, criminal mischief charges are related to property that an individual allegedly damaged out of anger.
The punishment associated with criminal mischief depends on the value of the damage to the property.
If the value of the property damage is less than $100, it is a Class C Misdemeanor and punishable as a fine only.
If the value of the property damage exceeds $100 but is less than $750, it is a Class B Misdemeanor. The punishment range for a Class B Misdemeanor is:
  • Up to 180 Days in the County Jail; and,
  • Fine up to $2,000.
If the value of the property damage exceeds $750 but is less than $2,500, it is a Class A Misdemeanor. The punishment range for Class A Misdemeanor is:
  • Up to 1 Year in the County jail, and;
  • Fine up to $4,000.

It is also a Class A Misdemeanor if the actor causes in whole or in part:

  • the impairment or interruption of any public water supply;
  • or causes to be diverted in whole, in part;
  • or in any manner, including installation or removal of any device for any such purpose, any public water supply;
  • regardless of the same amount the financial loss.
It is a State Jail Felony if the amount of the loss is $2,500 or more but less than $30,000. It is also a State Jail Felony if the value is less than $2,500, but property damaged or destroyed is a habitation, and if a firearm or explosive weapon causes the damage or destruction. Moreover, it is a State Jail Felony if the value is less than $2,500 for certain types of fences delineated by statute.
Additionally, it is a State Jail Felony if the value of the damage more than $750 but less than $30,000, and a person inflicts destruction is on a place of worship, like a church, or human burial, like a graveyard. The law also affords more significant protection for public monuments and community centers that provide medical, social, or educational programs. Finally, the State enhances punishment for individuals who damage public schools or private elementary schools, secondary schools, or institutes of higher education. The range of punishment for a State Jail Felony is:
  • Six Months to Two Years in the State Jail, Day for Day; and,
  • Up to a $10,000 Fine.
It is a Third Degree Felony if the value is less than $30,000 and the actor causes wholly or partly impairment or interruption of public communications, public transportation, public gas or power supply, or other public services, or causes to be diverted wholly, partly, or in any manner, including installation or removal of any device for any such purpose, any public communications or public gas or power supply. It is also a Third Degree Felony if the amount of the monetary loss is $30,000 or more but less than $150,000. Finally, it is a Third Degree Felony if the tangible property damaged, destroyed, or tampered with is transportation communications equipment or a transportation communications device, and the amount of the financial loss to the tangible property is less than $150,000. The punishment range for a Third Degree Felony is:
  • Two to Ten Years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Institutional Division;
  • Fine Up to $10,000.
It is a Second Degree Felony if the value of the property exceeds $150,000 but is less than $300,000. The punishment range for a Second Degree Felony is:
  • Two to Twenty Years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Institutional Division; and,
  • Fine Up to $10,000.
It is a First Degree Felony if the value of the property damaged exceeds $300,000. It is also a First Degree Felony if someone introduces mad cow disease to livestock. The range of punishment for a First Degree Felony is:
  1. Five years to life or 99 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Institutional Division;and,
  2. Fine Up to $10,000.
If the State has charged you or someone you know with criminal mischief in or around Travis County, call Austin Criminal Mischief Lawyer Jason Trumpler today at 512-457-5200.

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Jason Trumpler

The Law Offices of Jason Trumpler

Jason Trumpler has handled thousands of criminal cases over nearly 20 years. He is a current or past member of several national, state, and local legal associations, including:

  • American Bar Association
  • Austin Bar Association
  • Williamson County Bar Association
  • National College for DUI Defense®
  • Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers' Association
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • DUI Defense Lawyers Association

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