Vandalism can result in serious consequences

In Florida, vandalism charges are no joke. Florida Department of Law Enforcement reports that property crime makes up 85.6 percent of all crime. Vandalism might seem like a minor property crime. In fact, most people believe that vandalism is a relatively harmless offense. When a business suffers vandalism, it costs a business a few thousand dollars. Certain vandalism charges may lead to fines and jail time.

FindLaw defines a vandalism charge as the willful and malicious destruction of property. This can include a variety of crimes. The penalties that a person faces when charged with vandalism is dependent on the type of vandalism and the extent of the property damage. If you interrupt a business or public service, you may face felony charges. If you deface a mosque, church or other place of worship, then you may also face jail time and a felony charge.

Vandalism examples may include:

  • Graffiti
  • Egging
  • Keying a car
  • Slashing tires
  • Defacing park benches

There are many different ways that a person can deface or destroy property. It is a misdemeanor charge in the second degree if the vandalism results in less than $200 in property damage. A first-degree misdemeanor charge results in property damage above $200 and less than $999. These charges may result in a fine up to $1,000 or up to a year in jail. For those who commit vandalism and the property damage amounts to over $1,000 or the vandalism leads to business interruption, it is a felony with up to a $5,000 fine or up to five years in prison.

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