The crime of criminal mischief in Ohio is much more serious than the term may sound. In some cases, the property damage or computer hacking involved in a criminal mischief offense can result in a felony charge that carries lifelong consequences.
If you are convicted of criminal mischief, you may be sentenced to prison time and ordered to pay substantial fines. Furthermore, the offense will remain on your criminal record and could affect your ability to obtain or maintain future employment.
Dayton Criminal Mischief Lawyer
It is important to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as you are charged with criminal mischief in Montgomery County. The Joslyn Law Firm represents clients accused of criminal mischief in Dayton and nearby areas like Huber Heights, Xenia, Beavercreek, and Fairborn.
We pride ourselves on aggressively defending the rights of our clients, and our criminal mischief lawyers will fight to secure the most favorable possible outcome to your case. Contact the Joslyn Law Firm right now at (937) 356-3969 or send us a message online to take advantage of a free consultation.
Montgomery County Criminal Mischief Information Center
- Definition of Criminal Mischief in Ohio
- Dayton Criminal Mischief Penalties
- Ohio Criminal Mischief Defenses
An individual may be charged with criminal mischief under Ohio Revised Code (ORC) § 2909.07 if he or she:
- Knowingly moved, defaced, damaged, destroyed, or otherwise improperly tampered with another person's property without privilege to do so.
- Employed a tear gas device, stink bomb, smoke generator, or other device releasing a substance that is harmful or offensive to the persons exposed persons and/or tends to cause public alarm, with the purpose of interfering with another person’s use or enjoyment of his or her property.
- Knowingly moved, defaced, damaged, destroyed, or otherwise improperly tampered with a bench mark, triangulation station, boundary marker, or other survey station, monument, or marker without privilege to do so.
- Knowingly moved, defaced, damaged, destroyed, or otherwise improperly tampered with any safety device on his or her own property or the property of another person so as to destroy or diminish its effectiveness or availability for its intended purpose.
- Set a fire on another person’s land, or placed personal property that had been set on fire on another person’s land, outside and apart from any building or other with the purpose to interfere with the use and enjoyment of the property.
- Knowingly altered, damaged, destroyed, or modified a computer, computer system, computer network, computer software, or computer program with the intent to impair function, through means like computer hacking and computer contaminants, without privilege to do so.
The severity of the criminal mischief charges against you depend on the specifics of the alleged crime, but some of the possible penalties and consequences include:
- Third-degree misdemeanor — With the exception of computer criminal mischief, most criminal mischief scenarios listed in ORC § 2909.07 are charged as third-degree misdemeanors. Convictions may result in up to 60 days in prison and $500 in fines.
- First-degree misdemeanor — If criminal mischief was committed on a computer or was one of the scenarios listed under ORC § 2909.07 and resulted in physical harm to another person, it can be charged as a first-degree misdemeanor. A conviction may result in up to six months in prison and $1,000 in fines.
- Fifth-degree felony — If criminal mischief was committed on a computer resulting in financial damage between $1,000 and $10,000 or the property involved was an aircraft or any other equipment, implement, or material used in the operation of an aircraft, it can be charged as a fifth-degree felony. A conviction may result in up to 12 months in prison and $2,500 in fines.
- Fourth-degree felony — If criminal mischief was committed on a computer resulting in financial damage of more than $10,000 or the property involved was an occupied aircraft or any other equipment, implement, or material used in the operation of an occupied aircraft, it can be charged as a fourth-degree felony. A conviction may result in up to 18 months in prison and $5,000 in fines.
Various defenses may be employed to fight criminal mischief charges. Some of these may include, but are not limited to:
- Alleged act was necessary to protect the accused or to protect others
- Alleged offender is not the individual who committed the accused act
- Damage was accidental
- Damage was not willful or direct result of the actions of the alleged offender
- Damage occurred in midst of an altercation
- Extenuating circumstances that excuse or legally justify the alleged act
- Lack of evidence against the accused
- Property is jointly owned by the alleged offender and alleged victim
- Property does not actually belong to the alleged victim
Find the Best Criminal Mischief Lawyer in Dayton
If you are facing criminal mischief charges, it is important to seek legal representation as soon as possible. The Joslyn Law Firm helps individuals accused of criminal mischief in Montgomery County as well as communities like Troy, Kettering, New Carlisle, Piqua, and Springfield.
Our criminal defense attorneys can provide a thorough, honest review of your case during a free, confidential consultation. Contact the Joslyn Law Firm today at (937) 356-3969 or send us a message online to see what our Dayton criminal mischief lawyers can do for you.