Criminal Damage & Vandalism

Criminal damage, Criminal mischief, vandalism, and other property destruction charges in Ohio are prosecuted very seriously, and require a serious legal defense if you are to avoid significant penalties. Many of these charges result from road rage, a short fuse, or a domestic situations that get out of hand.

Though crimes against property are typically punished less severely than crimes committed against people, a property crime penalty can definitely involve jail or prison time, depending on the charge.


If you are falsely accused of this charge, you need to defend yourself aggressively. We can discuss legal options in challenging the prosecution to provide serious evidence for these allegations, or dismiss the charges against you.

If, however, you feel you made a mistake, it is equally important to make sure your side is heard and your interests are represented fairly.

So whether you acted out of anger and now regret the results, or if you have been wrongfully accused of a crime, we want to help. We know how it can seem like everyone in the criminal justice system is out to get you. We want to be your legal defense attorneys.

We have handled many criminal damage, vandalism, and even arson cases. Chances are we have helped someone like you. However, we understand that all cases are different and we want to be there to help with your case.

Contact us today to find out exactly what we can do to help.

Ohio Criminal Damage – Laws & Penalties

Criminal damage occurs when you create a substantial risk of harm to any property without the owner’s consent. Criminal damage is a 2nd degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and $750 in fines.

However, if the violation creates any risk to a person, the charge is elevated to a 1st degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and fines up to $1,000.

Ref: ORC 2909.06

Ohio Criminal Mischief – Laws & Penalties

This offense is incredibly broad and can apply to many situations. As always, consulting with a qualified attorney is the best way to accurately evaluate your case.

You may be charged with this offense if you:

  • Knowingly deface, damage, destroy or tamper with the property of another,
  • Deploy a stink bomb, gas device, or smoke generator,
  • Tamper with boundary markers or survey markers,
  • Tamper, deface, or destroy a safety device,
  • Impair the functioning or security of a computer or network system,

The seriousness of your criminal mischief charge depends on a number of things. The circumstances surrounding the incident play an important role in determining the level you will be charged at.

Criminal mischief charges can go as high as a 1st degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a fine of $1,000.

Ref: ORC 2909.07

Ohio Vandalism Penalties

Vandalism is causing serious harm to an occupied structure or its contents or knowingly causing harm to property owned by another. The severity of your vandalism charge rests with the value of the property damage.

What may have started out as a childish prank or other anti-social activity has resulted in serious felony charges that can impact your life tremendously.

Up to $5,0005th degree felony6-12 months in prison and up to $2,500 in fines.
$5,000-$100,0004th degree felony6-18 months in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
More than $100,0003rd degree felony1-5 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

Ref: ORC 2909.05

Ohio Arson Laws & Penalties

If you knowingly create a substantial risk of physical harm to the property of another: without their consent or with the intent to defraud, or create a substantial risk to a park, preserve, forest, or similar lands you may be charged with arson.

The charge you face depends on the property in question. The potential sentence ranges from a misdemeanor in the 1st degree with up to 6 months in jail and fines up to $1,000, to a 3rd degree felony punishable by 1-5 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

Ref: ORC 2909.03

Ohio Aggravated Arson Laws

Aggravated arson is a more serious offense than arson.

If you create a substantial risk of serious physical harm to any person other than yourself by means of fire or explosion you may be charged with a 1st degree felony and 3-10 years in prison and up to $20,000.

If you cause physical harm to any occupied structure you may be charged with 2nd degree felony and face a potential sentence of 2-8 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines.

Ref: ORC 2909.02

Free Consultation on any Ohio Property Damage Criminal Charge

When you are facing serious property damage offenses in Ohio criminal court, you need an experienced legal defense lawyer on your side. Call or email us for a consultation on your case today.

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