Criminal Mischief in New Jersey
In New Jersey, a charge for criminal mischief is codified by N.J.S.A. 2C:17-3. Criminal mischief is applicable when some damages the property of another. It is a common charge seen in New Jersey Domestic Violence and Juvenile cases.
The Bianchi Law Group is made up of former trial prosecutors and other “of counsel” attorneys who have handled the investigations and prosecutions of most crimes in New Jersey and will defend you for all federal and state crimes in New Jersey including Criminal Mischief.
Certified Criminal Trial Attorneys by the New Jersey Supreme Court
Partners Robert A. Bianchi and David J. Bruno are also both certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as Criminal Trial Attorneys.
In New Jersey, the New Jersey Supreme Court has a certification committee which classifies certain New Jersey Lawyers as Certified Trial Attorneys. The process requires the prospective attorneys to satisfy a strict criteria including extensive jury trials, a primary focus in criminal law, an application submission, a peer review process, a character and background check and to pass a written examination. Only 250 of over 98,000 lawyers (less than 1%) are designated as certified criminal trial attorneys by the New Jersey Supreme Court. This should be an important factor in finding a defense attorney to represent you. Many New Jersey Lawyers describe themselves as trial attorneys but most do not have the New Jersey Court’s distinction as Certified Criminal Trial Attorney.
Criminal Mischief Penalties in New Jersey
The Penalties for Criminal Mischief depend on either the amount of damage to the victims property or may be based on the type of property that was destroyed.
The New Jersey Criminal Mischief statute first grades the degree of crime based on the value. For example, Criminal Mischief is a third-degree crime if the damage is $2,000.00 or more; a fourth-degree crime if the damage is between $500.00 and $2,000.00; and a disorderly persons offense if the damage is $500.00 or less.
Additionally, the degree of the crime may depend on the type of property that the damaged. For Example, the following property types will dictate the degree of crime:
- any research property used by the research facility, or otherwise causes physical disruption to the functioning of the research facility (third-degree);
- a sign, signal, light or other equipment, which serves to regulate or ensure the safety of air traffic at any airport, landing field, landing strip, heliport, helistop or any other aviation facility (fourth-degree if no injury results; third-degree if bodily injury results; second-degree if death results);
- airport, landing field, landing strip, heliport, helistop or any other aviation facility (fourth-degree if no injury results; third degree if bodily injury results; second degree if death results)
- a grave, crypt, mausoleum or other site where human remains are stored or interred (third-degree);
- public communication, transportation, supply of water, oil, gas or power, or other public service (third-degree);
- pipes or mains for conducting gas, oil or water, or any works erected for supplying buildings with gas, oil or water, or any appurtenances or appendages therewith connected, or injures, cuts, breaks down, destroys or otherwise tampers with any electric light wires, poles or appurtenances, or any telephone, telecommunications, cable television or telegraph wires, lines, cable or appurtenances (fourth-degree);
Crimes in the second degree range can be punishable from 5 years to 10 years in New Jersey State prison. Crimes in the third-degree range can be punishable from 3 years to 5 years in the New Jersey State prison. Crimes in the fourth-degree range can be punishable up to 18 months in New Jersey State prison. Disorderly persons offenses can be punishable up to 6 months in the County jail usually in the County where the crime was committed.
The Sentencing Judge may also order fines and restitution as prescribed by 2C:43-3 for all convictions for Criminal Mischief in New Jersey.
Restitution and Community Service for New Jersey Graffiti Cases
By statute, the Judge can order a defendant convicted of Criminal Mischief in New Jersey to pay the owner of the damaged property monetary restitution in the amount of the pecuniary damage caused by the act of graffiti and to perform community service, which shall include removing the graffiti from the property, if appropriate. If community service is ordered, it shall be for either not less than 20 days or not less than the number of days necessary to remove the graffiti from the property.
Trial Ready New Jersey Criminal Lawyers
Like in all of our cases handled at the Bianchi Law Group, our experienced staff of trial attorneys and “of counsel” attorneys are there to make sure the Government can prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. If our attorneys cannot resolve the case with a dismissal or a fair and just plea bargain, our lawyers at The Bianchi Law Group will not hesitate to select a jury and take the case to trial. That is what we do and what distinguishes us from other attorneys. We are former prosecutors, trial-tested, and certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as certified criminal trial attorneys… We will not hesitate to go to trial.
At The Bianchi Law Group, we will take care to provide you Serious Attorneys for Serious Cases.