Criminal Mischief is essentially a property damage crime. If you knowingly or purposely damage someone’s property, you will be charged with Criminal Mischief. You may also be charged if the damage causes a substantial interruption of public services, utilities, communication systems, or transportation.

Examples of criminal mischief include:

  • Graffiti
  • Destroying telephone lines
  • Kicking, hitting, or bashing in a door
  • Breaking a window
  • Damaging a car
  • Damaging a municipal bus
  • Purposefully damaging rental property
  • Damaging or tampering with a grave site or headstone
  • Attempting to damage or interrupt a research facility by damaging property or releasing lab animals


Fourth Degree Criminal Mischief
  • Class A misdemeanor
  • Up to one year in jail
  1. Intentionally damaged someone’s property,
  2. Intentionally took part in the destruction of an abandoned building, or
  3. Recklessly damaged another person’s property resulting in damage valued at more than $250.
Third Degree Criminal Mischief
  • Class E Non-Violent Felony
  • Up to four years in jail
  1. Damaging someone’s property and that damage is valued at more than $250
  2. Damaging someone’s locked vehicle by breaking into it with the intent of stealing property
  3. Three or more criminal mischief convictions on your record within the past three years.
Second Degree Criminal Mischief
  • Class D Non-Violent Felony
  • Up to seven years in prison
  1. Damaging the property of another where the value exceeds $1,500.
First Degree Criminal Mischief
  • Class B Non-Violent Felony
  • Up to 25 years in prison
  1. Damaging the property of another by means of an explosive.  (Ref: NY State Law 145.00)


Prosecutors must be able to prove that your intentional or reckless actions were the cause of the property damage. Cases of minor property damage are handled in Municipal Court without a jury. The judge alone will hear your case and determine any sentence of jail time or fine. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney may lead to less severe penalties or even the charges being dismissed.
Attorney Travis will analyze the facts of your case, determine the credibility of eye-witnesses, inspect the evidence against you, and determine if proper police protocol was followed in preserving evidence. Do not plead guilty to a criminal charge without consulting an attorney. Many large law firms assign Municipal Court cases to less experienced lawyers. Andrew believes that all clients deserve the time and personal attention of an experienced attorney regardless of the offense they are charged with. If you have been charged with criminal mischief call or email our office today for a Free case evaluation.