Defenses to Vandalism Charges under Penal Code 594
Vandalism Defenses – California Penal Code 594
Defendant Lacked the Requisite Mental State to Commit Vandalism
Under California Penal Code 594, the defendant must have acted maliciously when damaging or defacing property. If the defendant acted unintentionally and without the unlawful intent to annoy or injure property, this can be used as a defense to the charge of vandalism.
Defendant Owned the Damaged Property
Under California Vandalism Penal Code 594, the defendant must have maliciously damaged or defaced property which the defendant did not own. If the defendant can establish ownership of the damaged property, this may be a viable defense to vandalism under Penal Code Section 594.
Consent Given by Owner
The defendant can use the owner’s consent to damage or destroy the property as a defense. If the owner gave the defendant consent to do so the defendant cannot be convicted of vandalism. For example, the landlord allows the defendant to tear down cabinets to have them replaced. The landlord cannot then claim that the defendant destroyed the property because the cabinets were torn down. The landlord allowed the defendant to destroy the property. Therefore, it would not be vandalism.
If you or a loved one has been charged with Vandalism under California Penal Code 594, call Wallin and Klarich today at (877) 466-5245. We will be there when you call.