Hamilton NJ Criminal Mischief Lawyer
When a client is charged with criminal mischief it usually revolves around some form of vandalism or a domestic dispute. If it stems from some form of a domestic violence incident, a Defendant may find themselves facing a detention hearing based on the new bail guidelines. During a detention hearing, the prosecution will be seeking to prove that the Defendant needs to be held in the Mercer County Jail pending trial, without bail. Therefore, it is imperative that you speak an experienced Mercer County criminal defense attorney about your options as soon as possible. If a detention hearing is requested, an attorney can contest the hearing and seek to to have you released on bail, pending trial. It is much easier for a Defendant to fight criminal charges when they are not being detained. If you have been charged with criminal mischief, resisting arrest, trespassing, stalking, harassment, obstruction or disorderly conduct in Mercer County, we can help. Criminal mischief is in essence the destruction of another’s property. As you will see below, there are four different potential degrees of criminal mischief in New Jersey. Our office appears in courts throughout Mercer County, including the Hamilton Municipal Court, the Lawrence Municipal Court, the Princeton Municipal Court, the Ewing Municipal Court, the West Windsor Municipal Court and the Robbinsville Municipal Court. If you would like to come into our office for a face to face initial consultation, then please contact us directly at (609) 789-0779. Our initial consultations are always free and we try to make ourselves available around the clock to help assist in anyway possible. So if you have any questions at all please do not hesitate to contact us.
Charged with N.J.S.A. 2C:17-3(a) in Hopewell?
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:17-3(a), the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable that the Defendant purposely or knowingly damaged property of the victim’s. The term “damage” means to cause a loss or deterioration in value or usefulness of something. So as you can imagine the term “damage” covers countless possible situations. As a result, it is crucial to hire an experienced Mercer County criminal mischief defense attorney. An experienced defense attorney can attack not only the underlying intent of the Defendant but the actual “damage” that is alleged. One thing that is important to note here is the fact that the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the property was in fact the victim’s. This element can cause havoc on the prosecution’s case, especially if the incident involves some form of a domestic dispute. For more information on this potential issue, please contact one of our attorneys at (609) 789-0779.
What are the Penalties for Criminal Mischief?
Criminal mischief can be either a disorderly persons offense, a fourth degree or a third degree felony offense. What typically dictates the degree of criminal mischief that a Defendant is charged with is the value of the “damaged property”. Here is a breakdown in the potential degrees and the potential penalties if convicted.
3rd Degree Felony Criminal Mischief Charges in NJ: The value of the property damaged is greater than $2,000
- If convicted, a Defendant faces anywhere from three to five years in a New Jersey State Prison, a fine up to $15,000 and a felony criminal record. In addition, almost all criminal mischief sentences will require some form of restitution.
4th Degree Felony Criminal Mischief Charges in NJ: The value of the property damaged is greater than $500 but less than $2,000
- If convicted, a Defendant faces up to eighteen months in a New Jersey State Prison, a fine up to $10,000 and a felony criminal record. In addition, almost all criminal mischief sentences will require some form of restitution as well.
Disorderly Persons Offense Criminal Mischief Charges in NJ: The value of the property damaged is less than $500
- If convicted, a Defendant faces up to six months in the Mercer County Jail, a fine up to $1,000 and a criminal record. In addition, almost all criminal mischief sentences will require some form of restitution.
Will I go to Jail for Criminal Mischief in NJ?
With that being said, New Jersey has created a couple of diversionary programs that a Defendant charged with criminal mischief may be able to take advantage of. They are the Pretrial Intervention Program and the Conditional Dismissal Program. Both programs will afford a Defendant the opportunity to walk away from these serious criminal charges without a criminal record let alone ever serving a day in jail.
West Windsor Criminal Mischief Defense Lawyer
Whether you have been charged with criminal mischief for spray painting a building, breaking a window or smashing someone’s cell phone during a domestic dispute, the Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. Our attorneys represent clients accused of criminal mischief, eluding, shoplifting, burglary, stalking, theft by deception or trespassing in Mercer County. We serve all of Mercer County including towns like Hopewell, Robbinsville, Ewing, Trenton, Princeton, Lawrence, Hamilton and East Windsor. If you would like to speak to one of our attorney about your options then please contact us at (609) 789-0799.