If you were in what started as a verbal fight but then break something owned by someone else or you co-owned, you may be charged with Malicious Mischief.
While this is a lesser charge than physically hitting someone else, the charge still holds grave consequences that you’ll need an experienced domestic violence defense attorney to help you navigate.
What Is Malicious Mischief?
Malicious Mischief is a standard domestic abuse charge that is a gross misdemeanor charge where a person knowingly and maliciously damages someone else’s property.
What Is Malicious Mischief In The First Degree?
A person is guilty of Malicious Mischief in the First Degree if they knowingly and maliciously causes physical damage to the property of another in an amount exceeding $5,000.
Outside of domestic abuse, Malicious Mischief in the First Degree also applies if the accused causes an interruption or impairment of service rendered to the public by physically damaging or tampering with an emergency vehicle, property of the state, a public utility, or mode of public transportation, power, or communication. This also includes damaging or tampering with an aircraft.
Malicious Mischief in the First Degree is a class B felony. In Washington State, a class B felony conviction carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.
What Is Malicious Mischief In The Third Degree?
In addition to breaking property, Malicious Mischief in the Third Degree includes writing, painting, or drawing any inscription, figure, or mark of any type on any public or private building or other structure or personal property owned by any other person.
If you’re charged with Malicious Mischief in the Third Degree, the police must arrest you, the court will impose a domestic violence no-contact order, and you may lose your firearm rights.
Gross misdemeanor convictions carry up to 364 days in jail and up to a $5,000 fine.
What Should I Do If I’ve Been Charged With Malicious Mischief?
If you’ve been charged with malicious Mischief, employing a strong domestic violence defense attorney will strengthen your chances of winning your case. Contact VanWa Legal right away for a free case evaluation.
We have more than a decade of experience navigating Washington State’s domestic violence laws and can help you get your case on track for your best chance.
We can discuss alternative resolutions with you so you don’t have to plead guilty or go to trial. We generally handle misdemeanor Malicious Mischief charges on affordable flat-fee terms to help you afford a robust legal defense. We can even offer payment plans if you can’t afford the entire fee upfront.