New York Criminal Mischief is criminally prosecuted in situations where someone’s property is destroyed or damaged without the owner’s permission. There are four different degrees of Criminal Mischief Charges in New York. Specifically they are:

Generally, the difference between these charges is the value and the nature of the damaged property. The charges are explained in greater detail below.

New York Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree

The least serious of the criminal mischief charges is Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree, codified in New York Penal Law Section 145.00. Under New York Penal Law Section 145.00, a person is guilty of Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree when, having no right to do so nor any reasonable ground to believe that he or she has such right, he or she:

1. Intentionally damages property of another person; OR

2. Intentionally participates in the destruction of an abandoned building; OR

3. Recklessly damages property of another in an amount over $250; OR

4. With intent to prevent a person from communicating a request for emergency assistance, intentionally disables or removes telephonic, TTY or similar communication sending equipment while that person:

(a) Is attempting to seek or is engaged in the process of seeking emergency assistance from police, law enforcement, fire or emergency medical services personnel; OR

(b) Is attempting to seek or is engaged in the process of seeking emergency assistance from another person or entity in order to protect himself, herself or a third person from imminent physical injury. The fact that the defendant has an ownership interest in such equipment shall not be a defense to a charge pursuant to this subdivision.

Sentencing for New York Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree

Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree is a Class “A” misdemeanor. As such, this particular charge is punishable by:

  • Jail time up to 1 year;
  • Probation;
  • Conditional discharge;
  • Unconditional discharge;
  • Time served.

As part of a resolution of a criminal mischief case, you may be required to pay restitution for the damaged property.

New York Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree

The charge of New York Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree is codified in New York Penal Law Section 145.05. Under New York Penal Law Section 145.05, a person is guilty of Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree when, with intent to damage property of another person, and having no right to do so nor any reasonable ground to believe that s/he has such right, s/he:

1. Damages the motor vehicle of another person, by breaking into such vehicle when it is locked with the intent of stealing property, AND within the previous 10 years, has been convicted 3 or more times, in separate criminal transactions of Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree under Penal Law 145.00, Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree as defined in this section, Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree under 145.10, or Criminal Mischief in the First Degree as defined in Penal Law 145.12; OR

2. Damages property of another person in an amount exceeding $250,

Sentencing for New York Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree

Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree is a Class “E” Non-violent felony. As such, this charge is punishable by:

  • Indeterminate jail term up to 1 1/3 to 4 years;
  • Determinate jail term 1 year or less;
  • A split sentence (jail term, followed by probation);
  • Probation;
  • Conditional discharge;
  • Unconditional discharge.

New York Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree

The charge of Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree is codified in New York Penal Law 145.10. Under New York Penal Law Section 145.10, a person is guilty of Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree when:

  1. With intent to damage property of another person, AND
  2. Having no right to do so nor any reasonable ground to believe that s/he has such right,
  3. S/he damages property of another person in an amount exceeding $1,500.

Sentencing for New York Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree

Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree is a Class “D” Non-violent Felony. As such, this charge is punishable by:

  • An indeterminate sentence of up to 2 1/3 to 7 years in jail;
  • A determinate sentence of 1 year or less;
  • A split sentence (jail time followed by probation);
  • Probation.

New York Criminal Mischief in the First Degree

Under New York Penal Law Section 145.12, a person is guilty of Criminal Mischief in the First Degree when:

  1. With intent to damage property of another person, and having no right to do so nor any reasonable ground to believe that he has such right,
  2. S/he damages property of another person by means of an explosive.

Sentencing for New York Criminal Mischief in the First Degree

Criminal Mischief in the First Degree is a Class B felony. As such this charge is punishable by:

  • A minimum indeterminate sentence of 1-3 years;
  • A maximum indeterminate sentence of 8 1/3 to 25 years.

Contact Top Rated New York Criminal Mischief Defense Attorneys

If you or a loved one have been charged with Criminal Mischief, you need experienced criminal defense counsel by your side. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.