Most people commonly associate acts of vandalism with youthful indiscretion, but this is a serious crime with severe penalties for alleged offenders. In the state of Ohio, vandalism is a felony offense.
In Ohio, the felony crime of “vandalism” is charged if damaged property is necessary for the operation of a business or government agency or the cost to repair the damage is at least $1,000. Related offense include the misdemeanor charge of criminal damaging (a misdemeanor of the second degree) or criminal mischief (a misdemeanor of the third degree). If the damage creates personal harm, then Criminal mischief is a misdemeanor of the first.
A person who is convicted of vandalizing a structure of property in Dayton, Ohio, can have their life dramatically altered. Having a felony on your criminal record can prevent you from being hired for jobs, being admitted to colleges, or earning professional licenses.
Vandalism Lawyer in Dayton, OH
If you are being investigated for or have already been charged with vandalism in Ohio, do not answer any questions from law enforcement without legal representation. The Joslyn Law Firm fights to protect the rights of clients in Dayton, Kettering, Huber Heights, and many surrounding areas of Montgomery County, in Ohio.
Brian Joslyn is an experienced vandalism attorney in Montgomery County who also handles cases in Miami County, Clark County, and Greene County, OH. Let our lawyers review your case by calling (937) 356-3969 today to set up a free, confidential consultation.
Vandalism Information Center
- What level felony offense is vandalism classified as in Ohio?
- What are the consequences of a conviction for vandalism?
- Where can I find information about reducing vandalism in my community?
Under Ohio Revised Code § 2909.05, alleged offenders can be charged with vandalism if they:
- Knowingly cause physical harm to property that is owned or possessed by another and is used by its owner or possessor in the owner's or possessor's profession, business, trade, or occupation, and the value of the property or the amount of physical harm involved is $1,000 or more;
- Knowingly cause physical harm to property that, regardless of the value of the property or the amount of damage done, the property or its equivalent is necessary in order for its owner or possessor to engage in the owner's or possessor's profession, business, trade, or occupation;
- Knowingly cause serious physical harm to property that is owned, leased, or controlled by a governmental entity, including but not limited to the state or a political subdivision of the state, a school district, the board of trustees of a public library or public university, or any other body corporate and politic responsible for governmental activities only in geographical areas smaller than that of the state;
- Without privilege to do so, knowingly cause serious physical harm to any tomb, monument, gravestone, or other similar structure that is used as a memorial for the dead; to any fence, railing, curb, or other property that is used to protect, enclose, or ornament any cemetery; or to a cemetery; or
- Without privilege to do so, knowingly cause physical harm to a place of burial by breaking and entering into a tomb, crypt, casket, or other structure that is used as a memorial for the dead or as an enclosure for the dead.
The classification of these crimes depends on the value of the property or the amount of physical harm involved. Vandalism offenses are graded as follows:
- Fifth-degree felony — Value of the property or the amount of physical harm involved is less than $7,500;
- Fourth-degree felony — Value of the property or the amount of physical harm involved is $7,500 or more but less than $150,000; and
- Third-degree felony — Value of the property or the amount of physical harm involved is $150,000 or more.
As felony offenses, vandalism convictions potentially carry very stiff consequences. An alleged offender could face a lengthy term of imprisonment and thousands of dollars in fines.
If convicted of this property crime, the possible penalties for vandalism are as follows:
- Fifth-degree felony — Maximum sentence of 12 months in prison and/or maximum fine of $2,500;
- Fourth-degree felony — Maximum sentence of 18 months in prison and/or maximum fine of $5,000; or
- Third-degree felony — Maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or maximum fine of $10,000.
Miami Valley Crime Stoppers — Miami Valley Crime Stoppers is a crime-solving, nonprofit, charitable organization serving Dayton and the surrounding Miami Valley area. Crime Stoppers works with local media, police, and the community to solve crimes and apprehend fugitives, paying rewards for tips that lead to the arrest and indictment of people charged with felony offenses. You can submit tips, read recent news, and find answers to frequently asked questions on this website.
Miami Valley Crime Stoppers, Inc.
335 West Third Street
Dayton, Ohio 45402
2909.05 Vandalism — Visit the website for LAWriter Ohio Laws and Rules to find the statutory language of Ohio Revised Code § 2909.05. Find definitions specific to the statute and information about penalties and punishments. The statute was last amended on 9/30/2011.
Wipe Out Vandalism and Graffiti | National Criminal Justice Reference Service — This bulletin from the United States Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention provides recommendations for antivandalism or antigraffiti programs in local communities. You can learn more about ways to start one of these projects, how to keep a project going, and some of the challenges you can expect along the way. The bulletin also provides ideas for other projects and recommendations for cleaning up graffiti or vandalism in your community.
Find a Vandalism Lawyer in Dayton, Ohio
Were you recently arrested or do you think that you might be the subject of a criminal investigation for vandalism in Ohio? You should immediately contact the Joslyn Law Firm for help protecting your rights and achieving the most favorable possible outcome to your case.
Dayton criminal defense attorney Brian Joslyn represents clients all over Montgomery County, including Huber Heights, Kettering, and the greater Dayton area. Call (937) 356-3969 or complete an online form right now to take advantage of a completely free consultation that will let our lawyers review your case.