The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) states that an individual is guilty of malicious mischief if he or she maliciously or knowingly causes physical damage to the property of another. An example of such an offense is writing, painting or drawing any mark on any structure – i.e., graffiti. This instance of malicious mischief can be charged as a gross misdemeanor. This crime is often charged as a domestic violence offense if the damaged property belonged to a household or family member.
There are different severities of charges related to malicious mischief in Washington, including:
- You can be charged with malicious mischief in the third degree if you knowingly/maliciously cause physical damage to another person’s property in an amount in excess of $50. This can be charged as a gross misdemeanor and can result in up to a year in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. This crime can also be charged as a misdemeanor if the damage is valued at less than $50.
- You can be charged with malicious mischief in the second degree if you knowingly/maliciously cause physical damage to another’s property in an amount in excess of $250. This can be charged as a class C felony, resulting in up to 5 years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines.
- You can be charged with malicious mischief in the first degree if you knowingly/maliciously cause physical damage to another’s property in an amount on excess of $1500. This crime can be charged as a class B felony and can result in up to 10 years in a state prison and up to $20,000 in fines.
WHAT IF I HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH MALICIOUS MISCHIEF?
It is very important that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible. An experienced Seattle criminal defense lawyer can provide you with the legal assistance that you need. If you have been charged with the most serious degree of malicious mischief in the Seattle area, you could be facing up to 10 years imprisonment depending upon the circumstances of your case. It is always so important to protect your rights and your best interests and your Seattle malicious mischief lawyer will be able to provide you with the necessary advice and defense.
Take the right step after being charged! Call 206.209.0608