Criminal Mischief is a type of property crime, such as when one destroys or damages property belonging to another.
Over the course of the last decade, this type of conduct became clearly identified with domestic violence, particularly behaviors like disabling or destroying telephones, breaking the windows of houses or automobiles, destroying clothing or jewelry, or breaking or disabling doors and locks.
Police in various jurisdictions often failed to respond to these behaviors as threats, arguing that a phone or vehicle was marital property and that a property owner can dispose of property as they see fit.
Increasingly, victims of domestic violence sought protection from the family and criminal court, citing behaviors like these.
In 2007, the legislature caught up with their complaints, and included Criminal Mischief as an enumerated family crime.
It may be charged in four degrees, from misdemeanor to felonies.
If you’ve been charged with Criminal Mischief as a family offense, you are in jeopardy of serious legal sanction.
Call the experienced Queens criminal defense attorneys at Zelenitz, Shapiro & D’Agostino today at 718-599-1111 for a free consultation.