San Diego Vandalism Lawyer

Charged with Vandalism in SAN DIEGO?  You need a lawyer

Graffiti and other vandalism is very common and prevalent in San Diego and across Southern California.  Graffiti also plays a prominent role in gang culture, music and modern art.  It is important to note that vandalism also includes keying a car, breaking a window, ripping paper and much more.  Pursuant to California Penal Code Section 594, it is a crime to maliciously deface, destroy, or damage the property of another person.  PC 594.2 makes it a separate crime to possess different instruments commonly used to commit vandalism (spray paint, window-breakers, bricks), but the government must also prove that the defendant had the intent to use those tools to commit vandalism.

Vandalism carries a wide range of punishments.  For a first time offender, vandalism where the damage done is valued at less that $250 can be reduced to an infraction charge, punishable only by a fine and no jail time.  Typically, however, vandalism is a misdemeanor or a felony, determined by the value of the damage and the criminal history of the defendant.  Vandalism with damage below $400, the charge will be for misdemeanor vandalism.  Vandalism causing more than $400 worth of damage will likely be charged as a felony.  Restitution is usually ordered, as well, whereby a defendant will not only face jail, probation and fines, but must also repay the victim/complaining witness for any damage done.

Defenses include: mistaken identity, false accusations, consent of the owner, and determining the true value of damage done. 
Vandalism is often the result of revenge, anger, intoxication, fun or boredom.  In addition, gangs use graffiti to identify their territory by use of "tags" on buildings, walls, sidewalks, signs and even vehicles.  Gang enhancements can make an otherwise less serious offense very serious.  Gangs are not the only cause of vandalism, however, with plenty of others, who do it for revenge, anger, fun or boredom.  Even a misdemeanor conviction for vandalism looks bad on background checks and can affect employment, professional licensing and more.

If you or a loved one has been arrested, charged with vandalism or is under investigation, you can expect aggressive prosecution for the offense in San Diego.  Contact the Law Offices of Nicholas Loncar now for a free consultation with a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney.  619-930-9515.

Nicholas M. Loncar, Esq.
San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney
t: 619-930-9515
f: 619-930-9516 


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