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Vandalism Not Such a ‘Petty’ Crime in San Jose

Posted on in Criminal Defense

San Jose criminal defense lawyers, vandalism, property damage, vandalism crimes, criminal recordWhen you think of vandalism, you may think of school age children pulling petty pranks, such as egging a neighbor’s house and getting into general mischief. While this is sometimes the case, vandalism also includes damage that results in thousands of dollars in repair costs.

A rash of vandalism crimes in San Jose has cost property owners significant amounts of money and has both citizens and police on the lookout for offenders. If you have been charged with this type of crime, you need a strong criminal defense lawyer working on your side to prevent a conviction and potentially heavy penalties, including fines and a possible jail sentence.

Vandalism Crimes in San Jose

According to a March 2018 report in the Mercury News, San Jose police are currently on the lookout for suspects in a rash of vandalism crimes that have plagued the area. Roughly a dozen crimes were reported during a two-day period alone, in which a BB gun appears to have been used to damage windows and doors of homeowners and businesses. Law enforcement is investigating the matter and have not yet determined whether these crimes are related and possibly due to gang activity, or whether they are a string of individual incidents.

In apprehending suspects, police are reaching out to people in the community who may have seen or heard suspicious activity in the area. They are also seeking subpoenas for video surveillance cameras at area businesses and at nearby intersections, on the chance that the crimes and the perpetrators were caught on film. While no one has been injured in the string of attacks, the damage done is likely to cost the victims significant amounts of money. Both the general public and local officials are eager to apprehend those responsible, so that they can be held accountable for the costs.

Penalties for Vandalism In California

Under the California Penal Code (Section 594 PC), vandalism is a serious criminal matter and includes any act in which a person or a group maliciously damages the real estate or personal property of another. This includes the following:

  • Defacing property with graffiti or any type of inscription;
  • Causing damage, such as scratches or dents; and
  • Destroying property, such as broken windows.

Criminal penalties for vandalism depend on the value of the property damaged. If the property is worth less than $400, it may be charged as a misdemeanor crime. This would involve penalties of up to $1,000 and up to a year in jail, along with paying restitution to the victim. If the value of the property is over $400, it is considered a ‘warbler’ crime, meaning it could be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. Potential penalties a suspect would face include fines up to $10,000 and up to three years in jail.

Contact Us Today for Help

When facing any charges that could result in a criminal record and possible jail sentence, you need an experienced San Jose criminal defense lawyer on your side. Reach out and contact Jachimowicz Law Group to make sure your rights are protected.

Sources:

https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/03/06/san-jose-windows-shattered-in-citywide-vandalism-spree/

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sectionNum=594.&lawCode=PEN

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