About Utah Crime Criminal Mischief Under Code 76-6-106
While the word “mischief” implies a harmless prank, criminal mischief is considered anything but harmless by police and prosecutors. On the contrary, criminal mischief is a very serious offense in Utah. If the defendant is convicted, he or she could be facing thousands of dollars in criminal fines, many years in prison, and other penalties. The defendant will also receive a criminal record, which can cause trouble when looking for a job, trying to get approved for a loan, or trying to earn a professional license or certification.
The consequences of a criminal mischief conviction can have negative impacts on your life for many years. If you were arrested for criminal mischief in Utah, you need a knowledgeable and aggressive criminal defense lawyer in Salt Lake City on your side.
Schedule a Jail Visit or Free Consultation with a Utah Criminal Defense Attorney
For more than 16 years, Salt Lake criminal mischief attorney Darwin Overson has dedicated his practice to defending adults and juveniles charged with misdemeanors and felonies in counties throughout the state of Utah. Darwin handles criminal charges in Salt Lake County, Weber County, Davis County, Cache County, Tooele County, Summit County, Box Elder County, Wasatch County, and more.
Darwin has earned a reputation for developing innovative and aggressive legal strategies. Time and time again, Darwin has obtained favorable outcomes for defendants who were facing extremely serious charges and stiff penalties. It may be possible to obtain a sentence reduction, have the charges dropped, or even get the case dismissed altogether.
Call Darwin immediately at (801) 758-2287 for a free legal consultation. Darwin is available to make attorney visits to county jails and detention centers around the state, including the Salt Lake County Jail (Metro/Oxbow).
What Are the Reasons You Can Be Charged with Criminal Mischief in Utah?
Most people are already familiar with the general definitions of crimes like assault, theft, and drug possession. By comparison, criminal mischief is a much less common term. Many people have never even heard of this offense. As a defendant, or the family member of a defendant, it is very important that you have a good understanding of exactly what you or your loved one is being accused of. Of course, your criminal defense attorney will make sure that you are prepared for your court hearings and know what to expect as you enter Utah’s justice system.
Criminal mischief is defined under Utah Code § 76-6-106. Under this statute, a person can be charged with criminal mischief in Utah when he or she allegedly:
- “Damages or destroys property with the intention of defrauding an insurer.” If the property damage or destruction involves intentionally starting a fire, the person can be charged with arson, which is a different and extremely serious crime.
- Deliberately, unlawfully tampers with another person’s property, resulting in:
- The reckless endangerment of human life, health, or safety. Reckless endangerment is a separate crime under Utah Code § 76-5-112.
- The “substantial interruption or impairment of any critical infrastructure” due to reckless actions. Recklessness is defined as disregard for a major, unjustifiable risk. “Critical infrastructure” includes banking systems, communication systems, public health systems, and sewer systems, among other structures and systems.
- Shoots, throws, or fires an object at a car, bus, train, plane, boat, or other vehicle. It doesn’t matter if the vehicle was moving or standing still at the time of the offense.
- Deliberately “damages, defaces, or destroys” another person’s property.
Fines and Prison Sentencing: Penalties for Misdemeanors and Felonies
Criminal mischief can be treated as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the specifics of the incident being alleged.
Misdemeanors in Utah are divided into three categories: Class C misdemeanors, Class B misdemeanors, and Class A misdemeanors. Class A misdemeanors are the most serious. Any offense greater than a Class A misdemeanor is a felony.
Similar to misdemeanors, felonies are also divided into three categories: third degree felonies, second degree felonies, and first degree felonies. First degree felonies are the most serious.
The penalties a defendant may face if convicted depend on what type of offense he or she is charged with. Criminal mischief can be a Class B misdemeanor, Class A misdemeanor, third degree felony, or second degree felony in Utah. The defendant may face the following criminal penalties if found guilty:
- Class B Misdemeanor
- Fine – Up to $1,000
- Sentence – Up to 6 months in jail
- Class A Misdemeanor
- Fine – Up to $2,500
- Sentence – Up to 1 year in jail
- Third Degree Felony
- Fine – Up to $5,000
- Sentence – Up to 5 years in prison
- Second Degree Felony
- Fine – Up to $10,000
- Sentence – Up to 15 years in prison
If you or one of your family members was charged with criminal mischief in Salt Lake City or elsewhere in Utah, don’t wait to get legal help. Call the law offices of Overson Law right away at (801) 758-2287 for a free and completely confidential legal consultation.