Criminal Mischief

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Ridgefield Park Criminal Mischief Defense Attorneys

Criminal Defense Lawyers with Offices in Hackensack, New Jersey

Criminal mischief lawyer needed Bergen County NJDo you need a lawyer for a criminal mischief charge in Bergen County? We can help.

If you or someone you love has been accused of a crime such as criminal mischief, harassment, simple assault, or shoplifting in Hackensack, Ridgefield Park, Englewood Cliffs, or another Bergen County municipality, obtaining a skilled legal representative can be the most important decision that you make when addressing these allegations. At The Tormey Law Firm, we pride ourselves on bolstering confidence in our clients by providing the best possible legal counsel. With offices conveniently located in Hackensack, New Jersey, within walking distance of the Hackensack Municipal Court and Bergen County Superior Court, our attorneys have day-to-day exposure to the inner workings of the New Jersey Criminal Justice System. Not only do we use our extensive experience to facilitate the most favorable outcome, but we also develop relationships with our clients founded upon trust, mutual respect, and compassion. Click here to read some of our client reviews. For a free consultation with a member of our defense team, contact the Bergen County, New Jersey offices of The Tormey Law Firm at (201)-330-4979.

Criminal Mischief in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:17-3

The offense defined as “criminal mischief” is outlined in section N.J.S.A 2C:17-3 of the New Jersey Criminal Code, which provides in pertinent part:

§ 2C:17-3. Criminal Mischief

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:17-2; 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.

New Jersey Penalties for Criminal Mischief 

Criminal mischief in New Jersey can be graded as a third or fourth degree felony or a disorderly persons offense, with the degree of these charges contingent upon the nature of the offense and the amount of property damage that resulted. The specific grading for criminal mischief offenses is as follows:

  • Criminal Mischief as a Third Degree Crime: Resulting in damage valued at $2,000.00 or more
    • Punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from three (3) to five (5) years in New Jersey State Prison, as well as a maximum fine of $15,000.00
  • Criminal Mischief as a Fourth Degree Crime: Resulting in damage valued between $500.00 and $2,000.00
    • Punishable by a sentence to serve up to eighteen (18) months in New Jersey State Prison, as well as a maximum fine of $10,000.00
  • Criminal Mischief as a Disorderly Persons Offense: Resulting in damage amounting to $500.00 or less
    • Punishable by a sentence to serve up to six (6) months in the county jail, as well as a maximum fine of $1,000.00

Call The Tormey Law Firm in Hackensack to Discuss Your Case

The aggressive criminal defense team at The Tormey Law Firm will confront your criminal mischief charges head-on, ensuring that every component of the prosecution’s case has been evaluated and argued to the fullest extent of the law. Travis J. Tormey leads by example, with the type of dedication that only a truly passionate defender can provide. To discuss your case with him or one of the other highly knowledgeable attorneys on his staff, contact the Hackensack offices of Tormey Law today at (201) 556-1750.

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