Vandalism Charges in California
- Penal Code §594 -
Vandalism - PC 594
Did you know that if you are convicted of vandalism in California, you not only face jail or prison time, fines and fees, and/or community service, but a suspension of your driver’s license? Vandalism charges are common in California. Vandalism criminalizes the destruction or defacement of someone else’s property.
To prove that you are guilty of vandalism the prosecutor must show that you maliciously damaged or defaced the property of another. This means that prosecutor has to prove that you damaged or defaced someone else’s property AND that you did it with the wrongful intent of damaging or destroying that property.
One common defense to a vandalism charge is that you did not intend to damage the other person’s property. For example, consider someone who drives away with a gas hose still in their vehicle after pumping gas. Even if the gas pump is damaged as a result of the person driving away, that person cannot be charged with vandalism for damaging the property of the gas station owner. The person pumping gas had no wrongful intent. Believe it or not, that example is based on an actual case that was filed by the Orange County District Attorney’s office.
So, before pleading guilty it is important you contact an experienced attorney who will take the time to review the facts of your case and fight for you. Just because you have been charged with a crime doesn’t mean you are guilty. Call Attorney Mullen-Lujan today to schedule your free consultation.