Seaside Park Criminal Defense Lawyers
Criminal Mischief and Related Offenses
The criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall defend individuals charged with criminal mischief and related offenses in Seaside Park, New Jersey. Criminal mischief charges range from a disorderly persons offense, up to a second degree crime. The degree of offense is usually determined by the monetary amount of damage done. Sometimes the determination is made based upon the location of the incident. Criminal mischief can be charged as either a N.J.S.A. criminal code offense or a Seaside Park municipal ordinance violation. It is not uncommon to receive complaints under both authorities. A charge for criminal mischief is frequently written as an indictable offense. In New Jersey, more serious offenses are called indictable offenses. Some states refer to this category of offense as a felony crime. Either way, a conviction for criminal mischief will show on your criminal record and undoubtedly cause problems when attempting to obtain employment. The important thing to remember is that an experienced criminal defense lawyer may be the key component in helping you avoid conviction. If you a have been arrested or charged with criminal mischief, please contact a criminal defense attorney at our firm today. Initial consultations are always free and a lawyer at our firm will gladly answer all your questions.
Seaside Park Criminal Mischief and Property Damage Ordinance
The municipal code of Seaside Park addresses criminal mischief through its malicious damage to property ordinance and is set forth as follows:
- §53-11. Malicious damage to property.
No person or persons shall, within the limits of the said borough, maliciously destroy, damage or injure any property.
- §53-25. Violations and penalties.
Any person who violates any one (1) or more sections of this ordinance shall be subject to a fine of not more than one thousand ($1,000.) dollars for each separate offense and/or confinement in the Ocean County Jail for a period of not more than ninety (90) days.
Please note that the ordinance penalizes a violation by allowing the judge to sentence the defendant to up to 90 days in jail. Do not take a municipal ordinance violation lightly. Early attorney involvement is a predicate to securing a successful outcome.
N. J. S. A. Criminal Mischief Statute
If charged under N. J. S. A. 2C:17-3, the defendant could very well be facing an indictment for a second degree crime. Additionally, the statutes mandates restitution to the victim under some circumstances. The statute is set forth as follows:
a. Offense defined. A person is guilty of criminal mischief if he:
(1) Purposely or knowingly damages tangible property of another or damages tangible property of another recklessly or negligently in the employment of fire, explosives or other dangerous means listed in subsection a. of N. J.S. A. 2C:17-3; or
(2) Purposely, knowingly or recklessly tampers with tangible property of another so as to endanger person or property, including the damaging or destroying of a rental premises by a tenant in retaliation for institution of eviction proceedings.
b. Grading.(1) Criminal mischief is a crime of the third degree if the actor purposely or knowingly causes pecuniary loss of $2,000.00 or more.
(2) Criminal mischief is a crime of the fourth degree if the actor causes pecuniary loss in excess of $500.00 but less than $2000.00. It is a disorderly persons offense if the actor causes pecuniary loss of $500.00 or less.
(3) Criminal mischief is a crime of the third degree if the actor damages, defaces, eradicates, alters, receives, releases or causes the loss of any research property used by the research facility, or otherwise causes physical disruption to the functioning of the research facility. The term “physical disruption” does not include any lawful activity that results from public, governmental, or research facility employee reaction to the disclosure of information about the research facility.
(4) Criminal mischief is a crime of the fourth degree if the actor damages, removes or impairs the operation of any device, including, but not limited to, a sign, signal, light or other equipment, which serves to regulate or ensure the safety of air traffic at any airport, landing field, landing strip, heliport, helistop or any other aviation facility; however, if the damage, removal or impediment of the device recklessly causes bodily injury or damage to property, the actor is guilty of a crime of the third degree, or if it recklessly causes a death, the actor is guilty of a crime of the second degree.
(5) Criminal mischief is a crime of the fourth degree if the actor interferes or tampers with any airport, landing field, landing strip, heliport, helistop or any other aviation facility; however if the interference or tampering with the airport, landing field, landing strip, heliport, helistop or other aviation facility recklessly causes bodily injury or damage to property, the actor is guilty of a crime of the third degree, or if it recklessly causes a death, the actor is guilty of a crime of the second degree.
(6) Criminal mischief is a crime of the third degree if the actor tampers with a grave, crypt, mausoleum or other site where human remains are stored or interred, with the purpose to desecrate, destroy or steal such human remains or any part thereof.
(7) Criminal mischief is a crime of the third degree if the actor purposely or knowingly causes a substantial interruption or impairment of public communication, transportation, supply of water, oil, gas or power, or other public service. Criminal mischief is a crime of the second degree if the substantial interruption or impairment recklessly causes death.
(8) Criminal mischief is a crime of the fourth degree if the actor purposely or knowingly breaks, digs up, obstructs or otherwise tampers with any pipes or mains for conducting gas, oil or water, or any works erected for supplying buildings with gas, oil or water, or any appurtenances or appendages therewith connected, or injures, cuts, breaks down, destroys or otherwise tampers with any electric light wires, poles or appurtenances, or any telephone, telecommunications, cable television or telegraph wires, lines, cable or appurtenances.
c. A person convicted of an offense of criminal mischief that involves an act of graffiti may, in addition to any other penalty imposed by the court, be required to pay to the owner of the damaged property monetary restitution in the amount of the pecuniary damage caused by the act of graffiti and to perform community service, which shall include removing the graffiti from the property, if appropriate. If community service is ordered, it shall be for either not less than 20 days or not less than the number of days necessary to remove the graffiti from the property.
d. As used in this section:
(1) “Act of graffiti” means the drawing, painting or making of any mark or inscription on public or private real or personal property without the permission of the owner.
(2) “Spray paint” means any paint or pigmented substance that is in an aerosol or similar spray container.
e. A person convicted of an offense of criminal mischief that involves the damaging or destroying of a rental premises by a tenant in retaliation for institution of eviction proceedings, may, in addition to any other penalty imposed by the court, be required to pay to the owner of the property monetary restitution in the amount of the pecuniary damage caused by the damage or destruction.
If you or someone you know has been arrested for criminal mischief, call a lawyer at our criminal defense firm today. An attorney is available 7 days a week, and initial consultation are always free.
The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall has office locations at 157 Broad Street, Red Bank, NJ, 07792 and at 216 North Avenue East, Cranford, NJ, 07016. The Lawyers at our firm handle all types of criminal matters including all drug charges, all theft cases, disorderly persons offenses, traffic matters, DWI, assault, municipal ordinance violations, etc.