Thank you for asking me “What is Criminal Mischief in FL?”
The crime of Criminal Mischief is found at Florida Statute 806.13 and is committed when a person “willfully and maliciously” damages the property of another person.
Criminal Mischief gets categorized based upon the amount of damage caused. If the damage is less than $200 then the crime is a 2nd degree misdemeanor (which is punishable by up to 60 days in jail); if the damage is in between $200 and $999 then the crime is a 1st degree misdemeanor (which is punishable by up to 364 days in jail); and if the damage is more than $1,000 then the crime is a 3rd degree felony (which is punishable by up to 5 years in state prison).
Willfully means “intentionally, knowingly and purposefully”, so if the property was damaged unintentionally during another criminal act then a conviction for criminal mischief will not stand.
So, for example, if you throw a rock at me but, because you happen to have lousy aim you miss, and instead you break a window behind me, then you have not committed malicious mischief. You may have committed an aggravated assault but it’s not malicious mischief. Why? Because malicious mischief is a specific intent crime, in this example your intent was to hit me, not the window, and your criminal intent cannot be transferred from me and to a window that you accidentally struck and broke.
At Michael A. Haber, PA “it’s all about reasonable doubt”!
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