Middletown Criminal Mischief Attorney
Arrested in Middletown NJ For Criminal Mischief
Criminal mischief is a property offense that is frequently charged by the police in Middletown NJ. Whether the arrest stems from graffiti, retaliation against a landlord, or another scenario, the intentional destruction of property of another can result in severe consequences under N.J.S.A. 2C:17-3 (“Criminal mischief”). In fact, a conviction for causing damage of $2,000 or more carries penalties that include a potential fine of $15,000 and as much as five (5) years in state prison. If you were arrested or otherwise charged with criminal mischief in Middletown, an attorney at our firm is ready to help you fight the offense. The lawyers at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are seasoned litigators with over 100 years of experience between us, including time serving as prosecutors in towns like Hazlet, Holmdel and Matawan. To speak to an attorney on our staff 24/7 in a free initial consultation, call our Middletown New Jersey Law Office at 732-615-0039.
Charged With Causing Property Damage in Violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:17-3
The first step in understanding what you are up against is knowing what the criminal mischief law says. N.J.S.A. 2C:17-3 provides that an individual commits this violation if he or she:
(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.
If conduct falling under (1) or (2) results in damage or economic loss that is less than $500, then the charge is a disorderly persons offense. A fine of up to $1,000 and maximum county jail sentence of 6 months applies at the time of conviction for this disorderly persons offense. When the loss exceeds $500 but is less than $2,000, criminal mischief is a fourth degree crime that exposes a defendant to a $10,000 fine and up to 18 months in prison. It is a third degree crime to cause $2,000 or more of damage contrary to 2C:17-3. An individual can be sent to prison for as much as 5 years and fined $15,000 for third degree criminal mischief. There are exceptions to the rules for grading of a criminal mischief that apply where the damage is caused to a research facility, airport, grave or utility service, including cable.
Criminal Mischief Defense Lawyer in Middletown Township
A skilled defense lawyer can prove invaluable whether your charge is pending in Middletown Municipal Court or is an indictable offense that has been sent to the Monmouth County Superior Court. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are excellent candidates in this regard with decades of success defending criminal mischief and other offenses filed in Middletown Township NJ. A member of our team is available immediately to go over the facts surrounding your case and will provide you with his thoughts as to the most effective way to avoid a guilty finding. Call us any time of day or night at 732-615-0039.