Criminal Mischief: N.J.S.A. 2C:17-3

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Millburn NJ Criminal Mischief Lawyer

With offices in Newark, New Jersey

NJ Criminal Mischief Lawyer
NJ Criminal Mischief Lawyer – 2C:17-3

Although property damage often leads to civil charges, New Jersey law enforcement will not hesitate to arrest offenders and file criminal charges as well. Even if no one was injured, you can still be charged with criminal mischief and face significant prison time. That’s because criminal mischief is a very serious assault and threat crime. Whether you angrily retaliated against your landlord or simply got drunk and accidentally damaged the front of a building, it is imperative that you not let one mistake ruin your future. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney today.

The attorneys at the Tormey Law Firm know what it takes to beat your assault and threat crime charges. Founding partner Travis J. Tormey has successfully handled countless cases in Essex County, NJ, including Newark, Millburn, and Belleville. Additionally, the firm has a former municipal and county prosecutor on staff, which will help us build a winning defense in your case. Examples of the firm’s excellent track record can be viewed on our Successful Criminal Mischief Verdicts & Settlements page.

In fact, Mr. Tormey received the AVVO clients choice awards in 2013 and 2014. He was also named one of the Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorneys Under 40 In New Jersey in 2014 by the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys. He was also heralded as one of the Top 40 Attorneys Under 40 in the Nation in 2014 by the National Trial Lawyers Association.

Call the Tormey Law Firm

If you have been charged with criminal mischief or vandalism, call us today at 201-654-3464 to arrange a free consultation with a member of our criminal defense team.

New Jersey Criminal Mischief Statute: N.J.S.A. 2C:17-3

NJ law protects citizens against damage to their tangible property and imposes criminal penalties on offenders. N.J.S.A. 2C:17-3 prohibits a person from:

  1. Purposely or knowingly damaging the tangible property of another person
  2. Recklessly or negligently damaging property while using fire, explosives, or other dangerous means
  3. Purposely, knowingly, or recklessly tampering with property so as to endanger the property or the property owner

Essex County Criminal Mischief: Grading and Penalties

Property damage might seem like a minor offense, but the penalties can be severe. Depending on the circumstances of the offense and the amount of damage, you could face felony charges and a lengthy prison sentence.

Third degree felony if the offender:

  • Purposely or knowingly caused pecuniary loss of $2,000 or more
  • Damaged, defaced, altered, or caused the loss of research property at a research facility
  • Interfered or tampered with an airport and recklessly caused bodily injury or damage to property
  • Tampered with a grave or any other site where human remains are stored or interred
  • Purposely or knowingly caused a substantial interruption of a public service such as water, gas, or power

Fourth degree felony if the offender:

  • Caused pecuniary loss of between $500 and $2,000
  • Damaged, removed, or impaired the operation of a sign, signal, light, or any device necessary to ensure air traffic safety at an airport
  • Interfered or tampered with an airport
  • Purposely or knowingly broke, dug up, or otherwise tampered with gas, oil, or water pipes

Disorderly persons offense if the offender:

  • Caused pecuniary loss of $500 or less

A conviction for the most serious charge, third degree criminal mischief, can result in a sentence of between three and five years in state prison, as well as a $15,000 fine. On the other end of the spectrum, even a simple act of graffiti can net you up to six months in county jail, as well as an order to pay monetary restitution to the property owner and a requirement to perform community service that includes removal of the graffiti.

Contact a Nutley NJ Criminal Mischief Lawyer

Criminal mischief is a very serious assault and threat crime that carries major penalties. That’s why it is crucial for you to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side as you fight these charges. Call the Tormey Law Firm today at 201-654-3464 to discuss your case, or email us to schedule a free consultation at our Newark office.

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Excellent attorney, highly recommend his talents

"I was facing serious trouble for marijuana possession. Was looking at probation, loss of driving privileges and even jail time. Travis's great knowledge of his clients constitutional rights"


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Our NJ lawyers represent clients in Belleville, Bloomfield, Caldwell, Cedar Grove, City of Orange, East Orange, Essex Fells, Fairfield, Glen Ridge, Irvington, Livingston, Maplewood, Millburn, Short Hills, Montclair, Upper Montclair, Newark, North Caldwell, Nutley, Roseland, South Orange Village, Verona, West Caldwell, West Orange, Wayne, Clifton and Paterson. Call us at 201-654-3464 or toll-free at 888-668-1940.

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