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Articles Posted in Vandalism

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If you have more money than God and you can do just about anything you want with it, what would you do for fun?

If the allegations being raised by one of Justin Bieber’s neighbors are true, the 19-year-old pop star decided to egg his neighbor’s house on Jan. 9. According to a statement released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Bieber’s neighbor claims the egging is estimated to have caused $20,000 in damages to the house.

Justin Bieber’s Home Searched

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At least eight people – ranging in age from 15 to 30 – were arrested on vandalism and other charges following riots in downtown Huntington Beach after the conclusion of the U.S. Open of Surfing, a week-long surfing competition. According the Los Angeles Times, the violence erupted the night of July 29 as the crowd of spectators and visitors moved up Main Street. Police said some people began tipping over portable trash cans and toilets and that a stop sign was used to smash the window of the Easyrider bike shop.

Videos of the riots shot by cell phone cameras and posted on social media went viral shortly after the incident. Police are looking at videos and photos from residents and social media to identify additional suspects who may have been involved in vandalism and other criminal activity, officials said. This incident is an example of how law enforcement officials use social media web sites such as Facebook and video sharing sites like Youtube to track down suspects in criminal cases.

Consequences of a Vandalism Conviction

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In California, the court will impose a suspension, or delay the driving privileges of any minor convicted of vandalism. A conviction mandates the court to impose a two year license suspension for a person 13 years of age up to 21 years of age. If the minor has yet to receive a license, the court will put a delay the issuance of a license.

Vandalism in California is codified under Penal Code Section 594, which states every person who maliciously commits any of the following acts: (1) defaces with graffiti or other inscribed material. (2) damages (3) destroys, with respect to any real or personal property not his or her own, is guilty of vandalism.

If you are required to drive to and from work or school, it is imperative that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney.

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canstockphoto1112408In California, Penal Code 594 defines vandalism as maliciously damaging or destroying property belonging to another person, or defacing it with graffiti or other inscribed material. Someone acts maliciously when a person intentionally does a wrongful act, or when an individual acts with the unlawful intent to annoy or injure someone else. For the purposed of this offense, the defacement does not need to be permanent. Graffiti or other inscribed material includes an unauthorized inscription, word, figure, mark, or design that is written, marked, etched, scratched, drawn, or painted on real or personal property.

If the amount of defacement, damage, or destruction is less than $400, vandalism is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by a fine of not more than $1,000. However, if the amount of defacement, damage, or destruction is over $400, vandalism may be punishable by imprisonment in the state prison and by a fine of $10,000. The punishment for a felony conviction of vandalism may be increased if the crime was done for the benefit of or at the direction of any criminal street gang. In such situation, the person may be punished by imprisonment in state prison for additional two, three, or four years.

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vandalism charges throwing eggsCalifornia Penal Code Section 594 defines vandalism as any person who maliciously defaces with graffiti, damages, or destroys any real or personal property. This definition is so broad that it encompasses any sort of destructive or unsightly behaviors. Specifically, you could be charged with vandalism for minor crimes, such as scratching you name into a desk or throwing eggs at someone’s house or car.

Essentially, if the property or item does not belong to you and you destroy, deface or damage it without the owner’s consent, you could be charged with the vandalism under PC 594.

Prosecution of Vandalism in California (PC 594)

In order to be convicted of vandalism, the prosecution has the burden to prove all of the following:

  • You maliciously defaced with graffiti, damaged or destroyed real or personal property; and
  • You did not own the property

In some cases, the prosecution may also have to prove that the amount of damage caused by your vandalism was $400 or more.

Consequences of Vandalism

Vandalism is a considered to be a “wobbler” offense. This means vandalism can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. How you are charged will depend on the circumstances of your case and your criminal history.

A felony conviction is punishable by up to three years in state prison and a fine of $10,000. Vandalism is usually a felony when the damage you caused valued more than $400. However, vandalism committed against a church can be a felony regardless of the amount of damage caused.

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It was recently reported that three individuals were arrested in connection to a vandalism case in El Cajon, California. Oswaldo Sanchez (19 years old), Aaron Menjuga (18 years old), and a minor (male, 16-years old) were all taken into custody when police pulled them over for an unrelated traffic stop. The police found BB guns and ammunition in the vehicle. Earlier that same day over 13 cars had been damaged by what police believe were caused by BB guns. The damage to the vehicles is estimated to be several thousand dollars.

California Penal Code 594 states the following in regards to vandalism: “(a) Every person who maliciously commits any of the following acts with respect to any real or personal property not his or her own, in cases other than those specified by state law, is guilty of vandalism:

  1. Defaces with graffiti or other inscribed material.
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It was recently reported that a minor was taken into custody and charged with 232 counts of vandalism in Vista, California. The police also suspect him in 85 additional vandalism incidences. His alleged graffiti tags have caused over $101,000 in damage according to police. His name has not been released because he is a minor.

In this case, the minor will be facing charges in juvenile court. Juvenile courts are specifically designed to handle cases involving children under the age of 18 charged with crimes. Juvenile courts hope to rehabilitate children as well as continue to ensure that they progress in their education. The courts also seek to provide counseling for the children.

If you or a loved one has a child who is facing a criminal charge in juvenile court, our experienced San Diego juvenile crimes defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich can help you and your child through the legal process. Our San Diego juvenile crimes defense attorneys have over 30 years of experience and will work to ensure that the best interests of your child are maintained throughout the entire procedure. Call our San Diego juvenile crimes defense attorneys today at (888) 280-6839 or visit our website at www.wklaw.com. We can help you.

About Wallin & Klarich

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Wallin & Klarich was established in 1981. Over the past 32 years, our law firm has helped tens of thousands of families in their time of legal need. Regardless of whether our clients faced criminal or DUI charges, the loss of their driving privilege, or wanted to clean up their criminal record, we have been there to help them.