Graffiti, Vandalism, in Texas, is a criminal offense involving property damage, although in some areas the offense, vandalism, or reckless damage, is used. However, in Travis County, Graffiti, Vandalism is commonly used, and the severity depends on the property that was damaged and value (or cost of loss, repairs, or damage).
strong>Graffiti, occurs when a person intentionally or knowingly makes markings, including inscriptions, slogans, drawings, or paintings, on another's property by using paint; an indelible marker; or an etching or engraving device.
If at the Misdemeanor level, an individual arrested for Graffiti, Vandalism can expect to pay back the cost of the damage -- if the prosecutors have enough evidence against that person. Furthermore, there is the possibility of probation, deferred adjudication, jail time, and even prison, especially if the prosecutors determine that the Graffiti, Vandalism involved an expensive or difficult to replace item.
With Graffiti, one major concern is when an individual spray paints or tags multiple objects in an area, such as several signs and walls on a street. The Graffiti laws allow the prosecution to add together all of the damaged property, claiming that all of the vandalism was one scheme or a continuing course of conduct. Therefore, the conduct may be considered as one offense, and the amounts of damage resulting from the vandalism may be aggregated in determining the grade of the offense.
What does that mean? It means if a person spray painted four street signs on a street, and it's determined that each sign will cost $900 to replace or clean, then that person is not charged with four counts of Class B Misdemeanor Graffiti; it means that person would be charged with Felony Graffiti, since 4 signs x $900 = $3,600 damage, which is a State Jail Felony offense.
If you're looking for other offenses that are related to this one, you can see more information below, or click related legal offenses.
A person charged with Graffiti, Vandalism is arrested and taken to jail. In jail, the person is forced to await the Judge and the ever growing list of documents that must be prepared. Usually, getting out of jail quickly is the main priority.
Sometimes an officer will file arrest warrant , which will require a Walkthrough to clear the Arrest Warrant. Doing a Walkthrough quickly is important, because most of the time a person does not go into the jail during the surrender process. Call us for more details if you have an Active Travis County Arrest Warrant.
Keates Law Firm can act quickly to assist with a personal bond to release that person. Be sure to read more about Bond, Personal Bonds, and Travis County Jail Releases.
Defense for Graffiti, Vandalism often fall into two categories: did the police arrest the right person, and if so, is the damage an accurate amount. Because the damage amount can fall under several categories of offenses (ticket, misdemeanor, or felony), the actual value of loss is often contested.
If you'd like to talk in detail about your situation, or if you have questions, contact us for a Free Case Consultation. Keep in mind, Keates Law Firm only practices in Austin and Travis County.
Hiring the right attorney from the beginning is important. Poor legal decisions will have a negative effect upon the case as it progresses. The Keates Law Firm has over 16+ Years Experience handling Graffiti, Vandalism cases. Our focus is to try and have the case dismissed against you. We don't even discuss pleas until all legal and negotiation options have been explored in detail.
Call Us to talk about your particular case and situation. It's a 100% Free Phone Consultation with Criminal Defense Attorney Keates. No Sales Pitches, No Hassles. We'll see if we are the right Law Firm for you, and give you a quote. Be sure to check out Keates Law Firm's Reviews and also our past cases and Results.
Your goal should be Dismissal for any Graffiti, Vandalism charge. While not every case can be dismissed, often times the goal becomes avoiding jail, or getting a reduced charge, or even getting a favorable probation with a possible dismissal at the end, called Deferred Adjudication. If dismissed, a person can later seek an Expunction of a Criminal Record, which is where a Judge Orders the offense records destroyed, including police reports, court records, and prosecutor files.
Likewise, if Deferred Adjudication is successfully completed, the person can have thier record sealed through Motions for NonDisclosure.
(a) A person commits an offense if, without the effective consent of the owner, the person intentionally or knowingly makes markings, including inscriptions, slogans, drawings, or paintings, on the tangible property of the owner with: (1) paint; (2) an indelible marker; or (3) an etching or engraving device.
Graffiti, Vandalism penalties can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depend upon the extent of damage or destruction of property. Breaking a chair is obviously less serious than vandalizing a car. A lot of the penalty and punishment for Graffiti, Vandalism will depend on the cost of the item damaged. A court will typically also order any restitution for the damage caused.
|Level of Offense||Punishment|
|Class C Misdemeanor||Not Jailable, No more than $500 fines|
|Class B Misdemeanor||Not more than 180 days in a county jail, and/or no more than $2,000 fines|
|Class A Misdemeanor||Not more than 1 year in a county jail, and/or no more than $4,000 fines|
|State jail felony||180 days to 2 years in a state jail, and/or no more than $10,000 fines|
|3rd Degree Felony||2-10 Years in Prison, and/or no more than $10,000 fines|
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