A couple in Florida was arrested after police responded to a domestic dispute over an argument. According to reports, the couple allegedly threw asphalt and concrete blocks through the back windows of each other's vehicles. The rear windows of both cars were shattered. The estimated damages to the woman's Ford Crown Victoria is about $600, and the estimated damages to the man's Chevy Silverado is about $300. The man allegedly shattered the rear window of the woman's vehicle while she was sitting in the driver's seat, and he also kicked the side of her vehicle, leaving a dent behind.
Washington Malicious Mischief Charges
If this alleged incident happened in Washington instead of Florida, the couple would likely each face malicious mischief charges in addition to domestic violence charges. Malicious mischief charges can accompany domestic violence charges in situations in Washington where physical damage is caused to the property of a spouse, family member, or another party with whom a close relationship is shared. An act of malicious mischief must be committed both knowingly and maliciously. This means that the act causing the physical damage must be more deliberate than an accident, and the individual committing the act would have likely known that it would result in damages to another's property. A common defense to a malicious mischief charge is that the individual charged did not have the intent to cause property damage or did not know that their actions would result in damages.
In Washington, malicious mischief charges associated with domestic violence vary in severity based on degree. First-degree charges are the most severe and occur when the estimated property damages amount to $5,000 or more. Second-degree malicious mischief charges are associated with property damages that amount to $750 or more. A charge in the third degree, where the property damage is less than $750, is the most common and is considered to be a gross misdemeanor. In this couple's alleged case, both individuals would likely face third-degree malicious mischief charges based on the estimated reported damages of $600 and $300. The man could potentially have been charged with second-degree malicious mischief in Washington if the $600 in estimated damages did not include denting the side of the woman's vehicle.
Punishments for Malicious Mischief Convictions
The punishment for a conviction of third-degree malicious mischief charges is up to one year in jail and a maximum payment of $5,000 in fines. First- and second-degree charges are punished as felonies with sentences of up to 10 years in jail and fines of up to $20,000.
Contact Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer Steve Karimi for Help
A malicious mischief charge or a reckless endangerment charge associated with domestic violence, even in the third-degree, can result in severe punishments that can have a lasting impact on your life. If you or a loved one have been accused of malicious mischief and domestic violence, contact Seattle defense lawyer Steve Karimi by calling (206) 621-8777 or fill out the form online for help with your case today.