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Vandalism is defined as the intentional destruction of personal or real property. Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island law distinguishes whether the offense will be regarded as a misdemeanor or a felony based upon the monetary value of the damage. For destruction of five hundred dollars or more, the statute make the act a felony, if the damage caused is less than $500 than the conduct will be treated as a misdemeanor. As a local criminal defense lawyer, Susan T. Perkins has seen hundreds of vandalism cases over the course of her career.
What is important to understand is that this particular type of offense is regarded as criminal and if the case goes to Court and a conviction culminates, the person’s permanent record will be forever impacted. Therefore, vandalism charges should be defended by an attorney familiar with the nuances and fine points of the crime.
Special circumstances in any given case could result in additional enhancements incorporated within the formal complaint. For example, when the conduct involves suspected gang members, the police will usually request that a street gang enhancement be charged. This can usually be seen in cases of graffiti. Moreover, when the damage is related to a domestic dispute, the investigators will typically seek special allegations of domestic violence which could require a more severe sentence if the charges result in a conviction.
The relevant sections of the statute is set forth as follows:
Every person who maliciously commits any of the following acts with respect to any real or personal property not his or her own, in cases other than those specified by state law, is guilty of vandalism:
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