Vandalism & Property Crime Charges
Mischief charges are usually laid following acts of vandalism. This offence refers to the reckless or wilful destruction of another’s property. It also involves interference with another’s property.
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Facing Criminal Charges For Vandalism Or Destruction Of Property?
Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyers For Vandalism & Property Crime
When you are facing criminal charges for vandalism and property crime, what do you need to know? Criminal mischief can come with heavy sentencing depending on the severity of the crime, so it's essential to retain an experienced Calgary criminal defence lawyer to fight your charges.
Mischief In the Criminal Code
Vandalism and destruction of property are considered criminal mischief under section 430 in the the Criminal Code. The Criminal Code defines mischief as anyone who knowingly destroys or damages property and renders property ineffective, useless, dangerous, or inoperable.
It is further defined as someone who obstructs or interferes with the lawful use of property and obstructs or interferes with any person who is lawfully using the property.
Criminal Charges For Vandalism & Property Destruction
If mischief causes actual danger to life, an individual is guilty of an indictable offence and could be liable to imprisonment for life. For example, suppose mischief causes damage that exceeds $5,000. In that case, they could be liable for a sentence not exceeding 10 years or an offence punishable by summary conviction.
Mischief Concerning Religious & Educational Institutions
If you are facing charges for committing mischief in relation to a religious or educational institution that is motivated by bias or prejudice, you could be facing a sentence of up to 10 years or an offence punishable on summary conviction. For example, if you were causing mischief and defacing, causing property damage or otherwise vandalizing a church, you could be facing a lengthy sentence.
Mischief In Relation To Cultural Property
Individuals who commit mischief in relation to cultural property could be found guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a maximum term of 10 years, if the prosecutor elects to proceed by indictment. If the prosecutor proceeds on a summary conviction election then the penalty is much less severe.
Cultural property is defined in the Cultural Property Export and Import Act as:
- Movable Or Immovable Property That Has Great Importance To The Cultural Heritage Of Every People (Art, Manuscripts, Books, Buildings, Reproductions Of These Properties, Etc.)
- Buildings That Exist To Exhibit & Preserve Movable Cultural Property (Museums, Libraries, Etc.)
- Centres Containing Monuments
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Mischief With War Memorials
Any individual who commits mischief concerning property that serves as a monument to honour individuals killed due to war is guilty of an indictable offence with a maximum sentence of 10 years or an offence punishable on summary conviction with a maximum sentence of two years.
Regardless of whether or not the offence is prosecuted by indictment or punishable on summary conviction, there will be a minimum punishment involved. For first offences, the fine will not be less than $1,000. If it's a second offence, you'll be facing imprisonment for at least 14 days. Every subsequent offence after will require imprisonment of at least 30 days.
Avoiding Criminal Charges For Vandalism & Property Damage
When you are facing criminal mischief charges, it's essential to have an experienced criminal defence lawyer help you with your case. If the allegation is labeled a hate crime, then the prosecutor will argue for a significant sentence, including imprisonment. We can help build a decent defence for your case because we are experienced criminal defence lawyers.
Alberta Legal is a Calgary based criminal defence law firm. We are serious lawyers who defend serious allegations in court every single day. We know how to get a decent outcome on your behalf. Contact us today for a free consultation.