People sometimes find themselves in legal trouble, thanks to their behavior. Errors in judgment or a loss of temper could lead to criminal charges. Some may discover that the wrong decision could lead to an arrest and potential penalties. Such might be the case for those charged with criminal mischief in Texas, a statute that can cover many different instances involving property damage or tampering.
The criminal mischief statute
Under Texas law, criminal mischief could include destroying or tampering with property to cause another person inconvenience. Someone who destroys a person’s mailbox in retaliation after an argument might face such charges. Similarly, a person who applies a lock or adhesive to a mailbox out of spite might face a complaint after the owner goes through the hassle of dealing with the prank.
Specific forms of vandalism might violate criminal mischief statutes as well. Spray painting derogatory or libelous comments on the door of someone’s car may lead to criminal mischief and other charges.
Criminal mischief charges might involve a defendant facing a low-level misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the specifics and the value of any property damaged. A Class C misdemeanor could apply to someone who tampers or destroys property worth less than $100. When the property’s value is $2,500 or more, expect felony charges.
Issues with criminal charges
Anyone accused of property crimes may worry about the potential consequences. Upon conviction, even a Class C misdemeanor may result in a permanent record that follows someone around for years. A felony conviction might have even more devastating consequences.
Some may choose to plea bargain felony charges, as misdemeanor convictions would not likely come with the same punitive fines or potential prison time. Others may consider the prosecution’s case to be weak. No witnesses or a lack of physical evidence may undermine the credibility of the charges.