Criminal mischief is not the most common crime contained in the Texas Penal Code. In fact, many people have probably never heard of this crime. We associate criminal mischief with damage to property in some form or fashion. Usually we see these cases arise over a bad break up between husband and wife or in more youthful offenders that damage property for the thrill or to fit in. While this crime may seem silly or petty it does carry the possibility of jail and or prison and significant fines.
Attorney for Criminal Mischief Arrests in Fort Worth, TX
If you were recently arrested for criminal mischief anywhere in the Fort Worth area or Tarrant and Parker County, it will be in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC defends clients accused of criminal mischief offenses in Arlington, Weatherford, Fort Worth, Cleburne, and many other surrounding areas of Tarrant County, Parker County, and Johnson County.
Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC are experienced criminal defense lawyers in Fort Worth who can help you achieve the most favorable resolution to your case with the fewest possible penalties. Call (817) 502-3600 today to have our attorneys provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation.
Tarrant County Criminal Mischief Information Center
Texas Criminal Mischief Offenses
- Under Texas Penal Code § 28.03, A person commits a burglary if, without the effective consent of the owner, the person:
- Intentionally or knowingly damages or destroys the tangible property of the owner;
- Intentionally or knowingly tampers with the tangible property of the owner and causes pecuniary loss or substantial inconvenience to the owner or a third person; or
- Intentionally or knowingly makes markings, including inscriptions, slogans, drawings or painting on the tangible property of the owner.
Penalties and enhancements associated with a criminal mischief
In most cases the amount of the damage alleged in a criminal mischief governs the degree of offense for which an individual can be charged. The classification is similar to the value ladder that we see in charging theft offenses in Texas. If the amount of pecuniary loss is less than $100 that is classified as a class C misdemeanor in Texas. A class C misdemeanor is the same level of offense as a speeding ticket. If an individual is charged with a class C misdemeanor carries with it a range of punishment of up to a $500 fine.
If the amount of pecuniary loss is more than $100 but less than $750 the classification would be that of a class B misdemeanor. An individual could face up to 180 days in the county jail and a fine not to exceed $2,000.
An individual would be charged with a class A misdemeanor criminal mischief if the amount of loss is $750 or more but less than $2,500; or the individual causes impairment or interruption of any public water supply, or causes to be diverted in any manner regardless of the pecuniary loss of value. An individual faces up to 1 year in the county jail and up to a $4000 fine.
Criminal mischief is classified as a State Jail felony if the amount of pecuniary loss is $2,500 or more but less $30,000; less than $2,500, if the property damaged or destroyed is a habitation and if the damage is caused by a firearm or some explosive; less than $2,500 in damage fi the property was a fence used to contain livestock or exotic game; or less than $30,000 and the individual causes impairment of property used for flood control, public transportation, public gas, or other public services. An individual would be looking at no less than 180 days up to 2 years in the State Jail facility and a fine not to exceed $10,000. State Jail time is served on a day for day basis. Which means, if you are sentenced to 180 days you will serve 180 days in State Jail. There is no parole, or early release, like there is for a prison sentence. Recently there has been a change to this in the for of the Diligent Participation Program through State Jail. A Judge has the ability to shave 20% of an individual’s sentence in the State Jail depending on the inmate’s behavior and participation in programs and credits offered. This however is discretionary and in no way a guarantee.
An individual would be charged with a third-degree felony if the amount of the pecuniary loss is more than $30,000 but less than $150,000; the individual discharges a firearm killing a head of cattle, bison or horse; or the individual damages an ATM machine disrupting its function. If charged with a third-degree felony an individual would be looking at 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000.
An individual would be charged with a second-degree criminal mischief if the value of the loss is $150,000 up to $300,000 and would be charged as a first-degree felony if the value of the loss is $300,000 or more.
There are numerous other ways an individual can be charged with criminal mischief but for our purposes the items listed above are the most common ways individuals find themselves charged with criminal mischief in Texas.
Texas Criminal Mischief Resources
Crime Information – Fort Worth, Texas Police Department (FWPD) – On this section of the FWPD website, you can find a link to CrimeMapping.com, a website that provides the public with valuable information about recent crime activity in their neighborhood. You can also find quarterly and annual crime reports on this section of the FWPD website, many of which include shoplifting statistics.
Fort Worth Police Department
505 W. Felix St.
Fort Worth, TX 76115
Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC | Fort Worth Criminal Mischief Defense Lawyer
Were you arrested in Fort Worth or Tarrant, Parker or Johnson County area for an alleged criminal mischief offense? Do not say anything to authorities without legal representation. Contact Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC as soon as possible.
Fort Worth criminal defense attorneys Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC
represent individuals all over Tarrant County, Parker County, and Johnson County, including Arlington, Cleburne, Fort Worth, Weatherford, and several others. They can review your case and answer all of your legal questions as soon as you call (817) 502-3600 or complete an online form to take advantage of a free initial consultation.