New York Penal Law 145.05 is the act of criminal mischief in the third degree. What this means is the simple act of lawfully committing the act of vandalism. Anyone who defiles, destroys, or damages another person’s property without the permission of the property owner is considered guilty of criminal mischief in a court of law if the evidence proves it. In New York, criminal mischief in the third degree is a Class E felony with a potential punishment of up to four years in prison or five years of probation. Restitution can be added to either sentence as an additional punishment for anyone found guilty of criminal mischief in the third degree.
Being accused of criminal mischief in the third degree means you must be guilty of at least one of the following in the state of New York:
– You intentionally cause damage to the property of someone else without permission
– Damage property of another person in excess of $250
Being found guilty of these crimes could result in a minor form of restitution, but it all depends on what the accuser decides is a necessary punishment for the person guilty. The accuser has the ability to ask for a harsher punishment for anyone who is willing to commit such a crime against their property.
Examples of Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree
Criminal mischief in the third degree is not the most serious offense of this nature, but it’s not the least serious. It’s still a problem for many people that might end up costing guilty parties years of their lives. a scorned man or woman upset because their significant other left them or cheated might be guilty of criminal mischief in the third degree if they decide they want to slash their tires or even break their favorite household item in the midst of a fight.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, a couple in the midst of a fight who ends up causing damage might not intend to cause damage. A man who slashes the tires of his wife’s car following a fight because he wants to upset her could be guilty of criminal mischief in the third degree. A woman who wants to get out of the house following a bad argument might take her husband’s car if it’s parked behind hers and end up in a minor fender bender because she’s crying and has a difficult time seeing the road in front of her. She didn’t intend to cause damage to his vehicle, so he’d have to prove this was her intent.
Anyone who is accused of criminal mischief in the third degree will find the burden of proof falls on the prosecutor. The best defense is an NYC criminal attorney with ample experience in the courtroom. If it can be proven your actions were unintentional, it can be proven you are not guilty of criminal mischief in the third degree. The other defense for this type of accusation is that the damage is not in excess of $250. If it is minor, most people will take a payout or settlement rather than ask for probation or jail time of the person who committed the crime.
Criminal mischief in the third degree must be intentional to be considered a crime, but it’s all about the evidence and the burden of proof the prosecutor has. An attorneys job is to help the defendant navigate these muddy waters to find a defense that will work in a court of law. It’s possible if the burden of proof is not there.