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.