What are the factors or elements of 594 PC Vandalism?

Under Penal Code 594 PC, California’s vandalism and graffiti law, prohibits maliciously doing any of the following things to someone else’s property:

  • Defacing it with graffiti or other written material,
  • Damaging it, or
  • Destroying it.

When most people hear the term “vandalism,” they may think of neighborhood kids who end up in the California juvenile court system for smashing peoples’ mailboxes.

But in fact the California crime of vandalism includes a number of activities that you might not immediately think of. Some examples are:

  • During a fight with your husband, breaking some fine china that you own together;
  • “Keying” the car of someone you know as an act of revenge for something awful they’ve done to you; and
  • Writing your name in wet cement on a city sidewalk.

And, in fact, vandalism charges are serious business in California. A vandalism conviction can result in penalties that include jail time and very large fines.

Legal Consequences:

The penalties for California vandalism charges generally depend on the dollar value of the property damage that was done.

If the damage is worth four hundred dollars ($400) or more, vandalism is a wobbler in California law. The penalties for vandalism in this case may include a jail sentence of between one (1) and three (3) years–and/or a fine of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or even more if the damage is very extensive.

If the damage is worth less than four hundred dollars ($400), vandalism is still punishable by misdemeanor penalties of up to one (1) year in county jail, and/or a maximum one thousand dollar ($1,000) fine.

How can we defend you against charges of California Penal Code 594 PC Vandalism?

There are several legal defenses that could be helpful with this, including:

  • You damaged someone else’s property by accident;
  • You were falsely accused; and / or
  • You were the victim of mistaken identity.

Contact us:

We have been successfully defending clients facing all types of criminal charges in Sonoma and Marin Counties, since 1992.

The 100 Trial Lawyers Association has recognized us as one of the best criminal defense attorneys in the country!

Please call our office today at (707) 571-8600 in our centrally located Santa Rosa office in Sonoma County or call our office in San Rafael in Marin County at (415) 492-4507 to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation.

Don’t bargain with your freedom! The right attorney makes all the difference between your freedom and incarceration!