Edison NJ Criminal Mischief Lawyer
Criminal Defense Attorneys in Middlesex County, New Jersey
Criminal mischief charges are often the result of vandalism, as in the case of spray painting or the destruction of valuables during a domestic dispute. A charge of criminal mischief can be quite serious, as the degree of crime varies depending upon the amount of property that has been damaged. Under New Jersey law, it does not matter if the property is public, private, or even if it appears to be abandoned – which is often the case. A conviction for criminal mischief carries penalties such as mandatory community service, probation, thousands of dollars in restitution and possibly even jail. It is for these reasons that it is very important to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will defend your interests. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Proetta & Oliver represent clients who have been charged with criminal mischief throughout Middlesex County, including Edison, Sayreville, Helmetta, New Brunswick, Monroe Township, and East Brunswick. Our lawyers strive to have criminal mischief charges downgraded to municipal ordinance status or even dismissed altogether, depending upon the particular facts of each case. Contact our office today for a free initial consultation with an experienced Middlesex County criminal mischief defense attorney at (732) 659-9600.
Criminal Mischief Defense Lawyer in New Brunswick NJ
Under New Jersey Statute 2C: 17-3, criminal mischief has been given a very broad meaning that encompasses a wide range of criminal actions and property damaged. Generally, the degree of the crime is determined by the type of property that has been damaged as well as the amount of monetary loss involved. The New Jersey criminal mischief statute, in pertinent part, reads as follows:
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.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.
Degrees of Criminal Mischief Charges in New Jersey
To help understand the statute we have provided you with a chart for degree of crimes as they pertain to criminal mischief charges in New Jersey listed below.
|Disorderly Persons Offense||if damage to the property is under $500 or if the damage is considered nominal and cannot be determined|
|Fourth Degree||if the damage exceeds $500 but is less than $2,000 or if public gas, oil, water lines, or telephone wires are tampered with|
|Third Degree||if the damage to the property is $2,000 or more|
|Second Degree||if public services were tampered with and the damage or interruption of the services caused a death|
Contact a Piscataway NJ Criminal Mischief Attorney for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one is facing criminal mischief charges, do not take it lightly because, as a disorderly persons offense, it will result in a permanent criminal record and potential exposure to jail, probation, and steep fines and other assessments. Due to the nature of the charge, it is common for our lawyers to represent clients for ancillary charges in connection with criminal mischief. These may include crimes such as Burglary and Defiant Trespass. As founding attorney, William A. Proetta, Esq. has personally handled scores of criminal and municipal court cases during his career. Of these cases include many successfully defended criminal mischief charges. We represent clients throughout Middlesex County including Plainsboro, South Brunswick, Old Bridge, Dunellen, and South Amboy and we are often able to negotiate a plea arrangement that does not result in a criminal conviction for the client. If you are interested in gaining assistance with the criminal mischief charge facing you or your loved one, then feel free to contact one of our experienced criminal mischief defense lawyers who will build a customized case strategy centered upon your legal needs and the facts of your case. Call us at (732) 659-9600 for a free consultation.