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Criminal Mischief

Criminal mischief, which is more commonly referred to as vandalism, is an offense that is often taken lightly by those who are charged with it. However, if convicted of criminal mischief, an individual can face severe penalties.

There are varying degrees of criminal mischief, and each degree carries a different penalty. Some punishments may require individuals to spend up to five years in prison, and potentially also pay up to $5,000 in fines. To avoid these penalties, it is essential that you consult with an experienced attorney so that you can obtain more knowledge on your criminal mischief charge, and make more informed decisions regarding your defense.

DeFuniak Springs Criminal Mischief Lawyer

Contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC for a consultation if you have been charged with criminal mischief in the Florida Panhandle, including the areas of Destin, Cinco Bayou, Vernon, Freeport, DeFuniak Springs, Westville, Jay, and the surrounding areas. The attorneys of Adkinson Law Firm, LLC have experience in criminal mischief cases and will fight to have your charges reduced, or dropped completely.

Call Clay Adkinson today at for a consultation on your criminal mischief case in Destin, and the surrounding areas. Your consultation is free and will provide you with the information and insight necessary to craft a strong defense.


Classifications and Punishments for Criminal Mischief in Florida

According to Fla. Stat. § 806.13, an individual is guilty of criminal mischief when he or she intentionally damages any personal property that belongs to someone else.  This includes, but is not limited to, any act of vandalism or the placement of graffiti on property belonging to someone else.

Criminal mischief charges in Florida range from a misdemeanor of the second degree to a felony of the third degree. The factors that determine the severity of the charges are as follows:

  • If the property damage is $200 or less, an individual can be charged with a misdemeanor of the second degree, which is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and/or up to a $500 fine.
  • If the property damage is between $200 and $1,000, an individual can be charged with a misdemeanor of the first degree and can be sentenced to up to one year in jail and/or up to a $1,000 fine. 

The following offenses are classified as third-degree felonies, and individuals convicted of these offenses face a potential prison sentence of up to five years and/or up to a $5,000 fine:

  • If the property damage is $1,000 or greater;
  • If the damage causes an interruption in business operation or interferes with public communication, transportation, supply of water, gas, power, or any other public service that costs $1,000 or more to restore;
  • If an individual commits criminal mischief that has been previously convicted of misdemeanor criminal mischief in the first or second degree; or
  • If an individual intentionally causes more than $200 of damage to a church, synagogue, mosque, or any other place of worship.

Defenses to Criminal Mischief

In order for one to be convicted of criminal mischief, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant damaged the property intentionally. If the prosecution is unable to prove to the jury that the damage was done intentionally, a conviction will not stand.

In addition to claiming the damage was done unintentionally, other defenses to the crime of criminal mischief include:

  • There is legal justification for the accused act;
  • There are extenuating circumstances that excuse the act;
  • The act was necessary to protect the accused or to protect others;
  • The property does not actually belong to the alleged victim;
  • The damage was not a direct result of the actions of the accused; or
  • The property is jointly owned by the accused and alleged victim.

These defenses do not apply to every situation. Therefore, it is important to contact an experienced South Walton defense attorney who can evaluate the unique details surrounding your arrest and determine which defense, if any, applies to your specific case. 


Adkinson Law Firm, LLC | DeFuniak Springs Criminal Mischief Attorney

If you are facing criminal charges for vandalism or property damage in the Florida Panhandle, including the areas of Pensacola, Milton, Bonifay, Noma, DeFuniak Springs, Chipley, and the surrounding areas, contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC today. Clay Adkinson of Adkinson Law Firm, LLC is a devoted DeFuniak Springs criminal defense attorney who will use his steadfast approach to help you avoid the penalties associated with your alleged offense.

Contact Adkinson Law Firm, LLC today for a free consultation at or send an online message about your criminal mischief case.