Criminal Mischief Cases
An experienced attorney can help you fight a charge of criminal mischief. At Pearson & Paris, P.S.C., our 60 years of combined legal experience can be used to protect your rights. Perhaps more importantly, our top criminal defense attorney is a former senior prosecutor who knows how prosecutors handle these cases. That knowledge allows us to create effective strategies ranging from negotiation to courtroom battles.
Whether in the Louisville area or anywhere in Kentucky, criminal mischief generally occurs where a person intentionally or wantonly defaces, destroys or damages any property.
Where the damage if more than $1,000, criminal mischief is a Class D felony, punishable by one to five years’ imprisonment. Where the damage is more than $500, criminal mischief is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a jail sentence not to exceed 12 months. Where there is no valuation of the damage, criminal mischief is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a jail sentence not to exceed 90 days.
Possible Defenses for Criminal Mischief
Whether a person is charged with criminal mischief, defacing property or other related property crimes, the general approach to defending criminal mischief and related crimes remains the same. First, the person may well reasonably believe that a property owner has consented in the destruction or defacement of the property. This could be especially so when the property is already damaged or when a wall is already tagged with graffiti. Second, in criminal mischief cases, the issue of value must always be closely examined. The value of damage to an item is not what it cost to purchase or what the retail value is of a similar item. The only important value is the amount of the damage done in terms of dollars; stated differently, the cost of repair. In some cases, the issue of the cost of repair may reduce a felony case to a misdemeanor.
Other defenses may also apply. This includes an analysis of any violation of constitutional rights, such as the right to remain silent, the right to counsel, the right to have any searches and seizures based on probable cause, a proper warrant, and the right to due process in the proper preservation of evidence that may be used against you. Many other defenses are available that rely on scrutinizing and exposing weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case, such as biased or incompetent witnesses, flawed crime scene investigation, flawed administration and procedures in collecting breath, blood or urine for forensic testing, incompetent computer evidence, flawed photo line ups and inaccurate crime scene/accident reconstructions.
It is important that you hire a skilled and experienced lawyer to defend you in a criminal mischief case in Louisville, Jefferson County, or across Kentucky.
Call us at 502-688-5200 in the Greater Louisville area and across the state of Kentucky.
For an initial consultation with a top-rated Louisville criminal law attorney, contact Pearson & Paris, P.S.C. We represent clients throughout Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer, and Bullitt counties in such cities as Louisville, St. Matthews, Lyndon, Prospect, Anchorage, Hurstbourne, Middletown, Jeffersontown, Shively, Crestwood, Goshen, Buckner, La Grange, Simpsonville, Shelbyville, Mount Washington and Shepherdsville.