Malicious Mischief Charges
Malicious Mischief charges are filed when someone knowingly and maliciously causes physical damage to someone else’s property. If a domestic relationship can be established between the suspect and the alleged victim, then Malicious Mischief can be charged as a crime of domestic violence (DV). There are enhanced penalties for DV crimes.
In Washington State, Malicious Mischief is separated into three different degrees of seriousness. Each degree is determined by the value amount of the damaged property.
|Degree of seriousness||Value of Property||Maximum Confinement and Fines|
|Malicious Mischief Third Degree||Misdemeanor||$750 or less||364 days in jail; $5,000 fine|
|Malicious Mischief Second Degree||Class C Felony||$750 but less than $5,000||5 years in prison; $10,000 fine|
|Malicious Mischief First Degree||Class B Felony||More than $5,000||5 years in prison; $10,000 fine|
There are several ways a good criminal defense attorney can fight this type of charge, including but not limited to:
- Taking your case to trial
- Compromise of a Misdemeanor (for Malicious Mischief Third Degree). This means the attorney would ask the owner of the damaged property to request a Compromise of a Misdemeanor after the owner has been adequately compensated for the damage.
- Negotiating for an Agreement to keep this charge off your record. Stipulated Order of Continuance, Pretrial Diversion Agreement, Dispositional Continuance, or Deferred Sentence. A good attorney knows how to negotiate for these types of agreements with the prosecutor.
Don’t let an inexperienced attorney represent you on a Malicious Mischief charge. Ms. Odama has successfully defended and tried countless misdemeanor and felony Mischief charges. She understands the complexities of this type of charge – particularly if there is a DV tag involved. Ms. Odama knows that along with criminal consequences, there are countless civil consequences such as loss of gun rights, loss of employment, travel restrictions, arduous probationary conditions, etc.