I Was Arrested For Vandalism, Can I Avoid Jail Time? PC 594
California Penal Code section 594(a) explains that anyone who maliciously commits one of three acts on another’s property is guilty of vandalism:
1. Deface property with graffiti or some other material
2. Damage the property of another; OR
3. Destroy the property of another
Vandalism is classified as a “wobbler” crime. This means the district attorney has the discretion to file a vandalism charge as a felony or a misdemeanor. Whether your case will be filed as a misdemeanor or felony mostly depends on the value of the vandalized property.
Punishment for Vandalism in California
Under Penal Code 594(b)(1), a felony conviction for vandalism can be punished by up to three years in county jail. A misdemeanor conviction for vandalism can be punished by up to one year in county jail. Under section 594(b)(1), the court may also impose a $10,000 fine. If the value of the property that is damaged exceeds $50,000, then you will be punished by both a fine and a jail sentence.
Can I Avoid a Jail Sentence for a Vandalism Conviction?
Depending upon the facts of your case, you may be eligible for alternative sentencing to avoid custody time. Alternative sentencing may include house arrest or secured electronic confinement. Whether you are able to obtain an outcome which includes no jail time will often depend on the quality of your legal representation.
Wallin & Klarich can often negotiate with prosecutors to reduce or eliminate vandalism charges before they’re filed. Before filing, the district attorney’s office must consider whether to file the case as a felony or a misdemeanor. In some cases, Wallin & Klarich may be able to convince the prosecutor not to file the charges at all. In the event charges are filed, Wallin and Klarich can argue for community service and graffiti cleanup duty rather than a jail sentence. Hiring our law firm at an early stage can help minimize the damage that a vandalism arrest can do to your life and your future.
California Vandalism Defense Attorney
If you are facing vandalism charges call 888-4-NO-JAIL or 877-466-5245 to speak with one of our experienced California vandalism defense attorneys. With offices located in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina, Victorville, Torrance, and Sherman Oaks there is a Wallin & Klarich attorney available wherever you happen to live. We will be there when you call.