Seattle Malicious Mischief Charges
Malicious mischief in the 1st degree is the most serious malicious mischief charge. According to RCW 9A.48.070 malicious mischief in the first degree occurs when:
(1) A person is guilty of malicious mischief in the first degree if he or she knowingly and maliciously:
(a) Causes physical damage to the property of another in an amount exceeding five thousand dollars;
Malicious mischief charges can coincide with domestic violence charges when the damage is caused to the property of a family member, girlfriend or boyfriend or other party with whom you share a close relationship. First degree malicious mischief occurs when the damage is very extensive and results in over $5,000 worth of repairs. Examples of first degree malicious mischief would be in an argument with a girlfriend/boyfriend you become very angry and destroy her/his car or start a fire in her/his home. The damage will likely be very expensive and, even though you meant no harm, you could still be charged with domestic violence as well.
Malicious mischief damage is defined by RCW 9A.48.100:
(1) "Physical damage", in addition to its ordinary meaning, shall include the total or partial alteration, damage, obliteration, or erasure of records, information, data, computer programs, or their computer representations, which are recorded for use in computers or the impairment, interruption, or interference with the use of such records, information, data, or computer programs, or the impairment, interruption, or interference with the use of any computer or services provided by computers. "Physical damage" also includes any diminution in the value of any property as the consequence of an act;
(2) If more than one item of property is physically damaged as a result of a common scheme or plan by a person and the physical damage to the property would, when considered separately, constitute mischief in the third degree because of value, then the value of the damages may be aggregated in one count. If the sum of the value of all the physical damages exceeds two hundred fifty dollars, the defendant may be charged with and convicted of malicious mischief in the second degree.
A 2nd degree malicious mischief charge can result for the same crimes only with less property damage. A second degree malicious mischief can result in $750 in damages or more. Covered under Washington law RCW 9A.48.080, this type of offense is less severe but still results in felony charges. Just as with 1st degree charges, when the act occurs due to a domestic dispute, it can be classified as domestic violence. An argument with an ex-spouse, for example, that results in you breaking a window or kicking in a door can lead to $1,000 in damages. Even if the alleged victim is not home or not harmed in anyway, you can still be liable for second degree malicious mischief.
When a malicious mischief offense occurs and the property damage is less than $750, this is considered a 3rd degree offense. Malicious mischief is the 3rd degree is part of Washington law RCW 9A.48.090 and states that any damage to property that was done “knowingly and maliciously” can be considered a crime. If the property belongs to an ex-spouse, parent, child or any other party that you are close with, you could be charged with domestic violence as well. Third degree malicious mischief is the most common malicious mischief charge and can result from even minor property damage. A common example is a hole in a wall made by a fist during a heated argument. This malicious mischief offense is a gross misdemeanor but can still have harsh penalties.
Malicious mischief in the first degree is a Class B felony and can result in up to 10 years in jail and $20,000 in fines. Second degree malicious mischief offenses are Class C felonies and can still result in 5 five of jail time and $10,000 in fines and fees. Third degree malicious mischief is only a gross misdemeanor but can lead to a year in jail and $5,000 in fines. There may be additional penalties for domestic violence as well. These charges are very serious, so it is important that you call a Seattle domestic violence attorney right away.
Malicious Mischief Seattle Defense
When police respond to a domestic violence call, they look for signs of property damage as well as physical abuse. If there is evidence that you caused any type of damage to the home, vehicle or outside property of the other party, you will be arrested and likely charged with malicious mischief. In many cases the only evidence against you is the word of the other party which can often be biased. For that reason, you should make sure that you have an experienced attorney to represent you. If you have been arrested for malicious mischief or domestic violence in Washington, call The Law Offices of Steve Karimi now. Attorney Steve Karimi is dedicated to helping his clients get the results that they need.