Some may think of criminal mischief as a minor criminal matter. However, being charged with criminal mischief is a serious issue that can result in misdemeanor or felony charges. Each offense classification depends on a variety of factors but the main one is pecuniary loss. The pecuniary loss is defined as the cost of repairing or restoring the damaged property within a reasonable time after the damage occurred.
Facing criminal mischief charges can be extremely stressful. At The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. , our criminal mischief attorneys represent people throughout Brownsville, Texas. If you have been accused of a property crime such as criminal mischief, please contact us at 956-504-2211.
Brownsville Criminal Mischief Lawyer in Texas
As dedicated criminal mischief lawyers in Texas, our goal is to provide you with experienced representation. We work tirelessly to provide high-quality service for our clients and their families. With our reputable background in criminal defense, we assure we’ll fight fiercely on your behalf.
If you have been charged with damaging or destroying property, contact our team of dedicated criminal defense attorneys at The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. in Brownsville, TX. We represent individuals in Willacy County, Hidalgo County, and Cameron County. Our criminal defense attorneys also provide legal representation to clients in Texas cities such as Harlingen, San Benito and Houston. Call us today at 956-504-2211 to discuss your case and the best defenses to the accusation. We are here to answer all of your questions.
- What Constitutes Criminal Mischief in Texas?
- Criminal Mischief Penalties in Brownsville, Texas
- Criminal Mischief Destruction at a School and Sanctuary
- Criminal Mischief Additional Resources
What Constitutes Criminal Mischief in Texas?
There are several reasons as to why you could be facing criminal mischief charges. Under Texas Penal Code Section 28.03, an individual may be charged with criminal mischief if they did any of the following without effective consent from the owner:
- Destroying or Defacing personal or public property:
- Tearing down fences, spray painting walls, breaking headlamps
- Damaging a motor vehicle
- Breaking windows in homes or businesses
- Destroying school property
- Writing on walls, lockers, desks or other school property
Criminal Mischief Penalties in Brownsville, Texas
Penalties for a criminal mischief charge are contingent upon the pecuniary loss. As stated above, pecuniary loss is defined as the cost of repairing someone’s damaged property within a reasonable time after destruction occurred. Charges include:
- Class C misdemeanor – If the amount of pecuniary loss is less than $100; a Class C misdemeanor is punishable by up to a $500 fine with no jail time.
- Class B misdemeanor – If the amount of pecuniary loss is $100 or more but less than $750; a Class B misdemeanor is punishable by up to a $2,000 fine and 180 days of jail time.
- Class A misdemeanor – If the amount of pecuniary loss is $750 or more but less than $2,500; or if an individual causes in whole or in part impairment of any public water supply, a Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to a $4,000 fine and one year of jail time.
- State jail felony – if the amount of pecuniary loss is $2,500 or more but less than $30,000; a state-jail felony is punishable by up to a $10,000 fine and 2 years of jail time.
- Third degree felony – the amount of the pecuniary loss is $30,000 or more but less than $150,000, a third-degree felony is punishable by 2 to 10 years of imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine.
- Second degree felony – if the amount of pecuniary loss is $150,000 or more but less than $300,000, a second-degree felony is punishable by 2 to 20 years of imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine.
- First degree felony – if the amount of pecuniary loss is $300,000 or more, a first degree felony is punishable by 5 to 99 years of imprisonment, up to life, and up to a $10,000 fine.
Criminal Mischief Destruction at a School and Sanctuary
According to Texas Penal Code Section 28.03(h), criminal mischief is charged as a state jail felony if the amount of the pecuniary loss to real property or to tangible personal property is $1,500 or more but less than $20,000. This also includes if the damage or destruction is inflicted on a public or private elementary school, secondary school, or institution of higher education.
In addition, a person may be charged with a state jail felony if the damage is inflicted on a church or a specific place of worship. The statute also includes human burials, public monuments, or community centers that provides medical, social, or educational programs. The state will charge a person with a state jail felony if the amount of the pecuniary loss to real property or to tangible personal property is less than $20,000.
Additional Resources for Criminal Mischief Laws
Brownsville Police Department – Visit the Brownsville Police Department website to submit an online report regarding several incidents including property damage, theft, repossession, trespass and more. The police department also shares recently published news releases, crime statistics, and the city’s most wanted individuals.
The Texas Historical Commission (THC) Cemetery Preservation – THC provides technical assistance to assist concerned citizens and local and regional organizations with their cemetery preservation efforts. It established the County Historical Commissions (CHC) to help prevent cemetery vandalism. Visit the website to see how you can protect cemeteries from criminal mischief.
Criminal Mischief Defense Attorney in Hidalgo County, Texas
If you are charged with a criminal mischief in Texas, contact Brownsville property crimes defense attorney at The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. . A property crime conviction carries severe consequences therefore it is in your best interest to seek legal counsel as soon as possible. We are ready to help.
Property crime attorney Jonathan Gracia and his team represent clients in Cameron County and surrounding cities in Texas such as Harlingen, San Benito and Mercedes. We are dedicated to building a solid defense on your behalf, with the goal of minimizing the penalties you could face. Please call The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. today at 956-504-2211 to schedule a free consultation.