Vandalism is the act deliberately destroying or defacing someone else’s property without their permission. Some even see certain forms of art such as graffiti as defacement. And it is…legally. Your Insurance Attorney handles cases involving personal or business-related destruction in south Florida. While we mostly associate this kind of defamation with tangible properties such as destruction of cars or homes, this crime also relates to ruin of online assists such as websites.
If you need more information, contact a property damage lawyer in Miami and we can discuss what you can do about your sabotaged property. And, just in case you are wondering how the perpetrator can be punished by law, we’ve simplified the basics below.
What Is Punishable?
The act of vandalizing someone else’s property can fall under quite a large umbrella. As we mentioned, this act does not only pertain to physical materials. It is generally described as a willful behavior with intention to commit vengeful harm onto another’s belongings. Even the intent to commit vandalism is considered a crime if you have a drill bit, bat, or some other weapon meant to destroy is a criminal act. Some vandalizing acts include:
- Spray painting another’s property with the purpose of defacing
- Breaking someone’s windows
- Graffiti or other forms of art on public property
- “Egging” someone’s car, house, or window
- Defacing park benches
- Altering or knocking down street signs
- Keying or scratching someone’s car
- Kicking and damaging someone’s property with your hands or feet
Florida Vandalism Laws
A single act of vandalization can cost a business an average of $3,370. Florida punishes those who commit this crime with fines or even jail time. Here, it is also known as “criminal mischief” and charges vary on a case-by-case basis and factors in the amount of property damaged. Your property damage lawyer in Miami will he able to properly delegate the severity of your damage.
A third degree felony charge may be issued for those who’s criminal mischief act disrupt a business or public service. Any defacing of religious properties such as churches, mosques, or any other place of worship is a third degree felony that can have criminals facing a $5,000 fine and five years of jail time.
Criminal mischief can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Florida Law dictates that penalties include:
- Criminal Mischief resulting in property damage of $200 or less is a misdemeanor in the second degree, punishable by a fine of up to $500 and/or imprisonment of up to 60 days.
- The act of vandalizing that results in property damage between $201 and $999 is a misdemeanor in the first degree, punishable by a fine up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year.
- The act of vandalizing that results in property damage of $1,000 or more, or causing an interruption of business operation or public communication, transportation, supply of water, gas or power, or other public service which costs $1,000 or more in labor and supplies to restore is a felony of the third degree, punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and/or imprisonment of up to five years.
- Any person who willfully and maliciously defaces a church, synagogue, mosque, or other place of worship and causes damage to the property greater than $200 commits a felony of the third degree, punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and/or imprisonment of up to five years.
If your property has been vandalized, contact a property damage lawyer in Miami. Your Insurance Attorney can help you settle your case so that you are reimbursed after being a victim of this crime.