In New Jersey, one of the ways that damage or tampering with another person’s property is punished is through the charge of Criminal Mischief (N.J.S.A. 2C:17-3).
In a Criminal Mischief case, the prosecution alleges that you purposely or recklessly damaged another person’s property, or that you tampered with another person’s property in a way that poses danger to them or their property.
The severity of the potential criminal mischief penalties are scaled to the value of the property in question.
For property valued at under $500, the crime is charged as a Disorderly Person Offense, carrying a potential sentence of six months in jail.
If the value of the goods is more than $500 but less than $2000, it is a Fourth Degree Crime, with a potential sentence of 18 months in state prison.
For damaged property in excess of $2000, you’ll be charged with a Third Degree Crime, and face between 3-5 years in state prison.
These penalties only apply if you are convicted.
In many cases, you have numerous options, and an experienced New Jersey Criminal Mischief attorney can help you develop the best strategy to limit your exposure.
Call attorney Matthew Reisig today at 732-625-9661 for a free consultation with an experienced New Jersey Criminal Mischief defense attorney.