Criminal Mischief, sometimes known as vandalism, is defined in Florida Statute 806.13 as any person who:

“willfully and maliciously injures or damages by any means any real or personal property belonging to another, including, but not limited to, the placement of graffiti thereon or other acts of vandalism thereto.”

Defined in Florida Statute 877.03, Disorderly Conduct or Breach of Peace occurs when:

“Someone commits such acts as are of a nature to corrupt the public morals, or outrage the sense of public decency, or affect the peace and quiet of persons who may witness them, or engages in brawling or fighting, or engages in such conduct as to constitute a breach of the peace or disorderly conduct…”


Depending on the dollar amount of the damage, Criminal Mischief can be charged as a Misdemeanor or a Felony:

  • $200.00 or less

    • 2nd degree Misdemeanor

      • Maximum 60 days in county jail; or

      • Maximum 6 months of probation; and

      • $500.00 fine

  • Greater than $200.00 but less than $1,000.00

    • 1st degree Misdemeanor

      • 1 year in jail; or

      • 1 year of probation; and

      • $1,000.00 fine

  • $1,000.00 or more

    • 3rd degree felony

      • Up to 5 years in prison; or

      • 5 years of probation; and

      • $1,000.00

Additionally, a Judge may order that the defendant pay restitution in the amount of the damage back to the victim, a stay away order ,and a no contact order.


Different defenses are available depending on the facts of the case, however, not every case will have a defense. The defenses can be legal or factual in nature such as:

  • The defendant did not cause the damage;

  • Necessity;

  • The victim does not own the damaged property

Criminal Mischief is a common crime usually associated with other crimes when a defendant breaks something. Other times it may involve individuals who know each other or even young kids who use spray paint to vandalize property. Without a proper defense, defendants can end up paying a large amount of money that they shouldn’t have to.


accused of Criminal Mischief? Contact us today.

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