Austin Criminal Mischief Attorney Jason Trumpler

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. Basically, criminal mischief is destroying or damaging another’s property. The statute states that a person commits the offense if, without the effective consent of the owner: (1) he intentionally or knowingly damages or destroys the tangible property of the owner; (2) he intentionally or knowingly tampers with the tangible property of the owner and causes pecuniary loss or substantial inconvenience to the owner or a third person; or (3) he intentionally or knowingly makes markings, including inscriptions, slogans, drawings, or paintings, on the tangible property of the owner.

Things like keying a car qualify as criminal mischief. Most often criminal mischief charges are related to property that is 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 punishable by up to 180 days in the county jail and a fine not to exceed $2,000.

If the value of the property damage exceeds $750, but is less than $2,500, it is a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in the county jail and a fine not to exceed $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 pecuniary 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, if the property damaged or destroyed is a habitation and if the damage or destruction is caused by a firearm or explosive weapon. 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 damage or destruction is inflicted on a place of worship or human burial, a public monument, or a community center that provides medical, social, or educational programs and the amount of the pecuniary loss to real property or to tangible property is $750 or more but less than $30,000. Finally, it is a state jail felony if the amount of the pecuniary loss to real property is $750 or more but less than $30,000 and the damage or destruction is inflicted on a public school or private elementary school, secondary school, or institute of higher education. A state jail felonyis punishable by six months to 2 years in the state jail, day to 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 service, 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 felony of the third degree if the amount of the pecuniary loss is $30,000 or more but less than $150,000. Finally, it is a felony of the third degree if the tangible property damaged, destroyed, or tampered with is transportation communications equipment or a transportation communications device; and the amount of the pecuniary loss to the tangible property is less than $150,000. A third degree felony is punishable by 2 to 10 years in the Texas Department of Corrections and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

It is a second degree felony punishable between 2 to 20 years in the Texas Department of Corrections and a fine not to exceed $10,000 if the value of the property exceeds $150,000 but is less than $300,000.

It is a felony of the first degree punishable by 5 years to life or 99 years in the Texas Department of Corrections and a fine not to exceed $10,000 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.

If you or someone you know has been charged with criminal mischief anywhere in the State of Texas, you can call Austin Criminal Mischief Lawyer Jason Trumpler with the Law Offices of Jason Trumpler at (512) 359-3300 anytime.

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