Vandalism: A Game That Turns into a Legal Nightmare

Posted by Ryan Russman | Oct 29, 2013 | 0 Comments

It may start out as innocent fun, tossing rocks at what looks to be a junk car, or spray painting an old wall. Maybe you didn't have plans on doing anything all, but you got caught up in the wrong crowd who pressured to you do a little damage to another's property.

New Hampshire law is clear; the destruction of property is considered a crime. If convicted, you could face serious penalties that result in a criminal misdemeanor or felony. A conviction lasts on your record forever. NH criminal law attorney Ryan Russman defends those who have been wrongly charged of vandalism.

What is Considered Vandalism?

In the summer of 2011, a group of minors trespassed onto school property in Concord, New Hampshire and slashed the tires of 27 school buses. The Concord Monitor reported that the school district had 29 buses. The destruction was discovered that morning, and the school had no way to transport approximately 2,500 students to school. The police arrested four students, and each minor was given one count of criminal mischief – a felony charge.

Once charged and convicted of vandalism, you could face seven years in prison along with hefty fines of up to $4000.

Any type of destruction of another's property is considered vandalism. An individual can be charged with a criminal misdemeanor or a felony based on the circumstances and past criminal records. Even if property seems unused or belonging to no one, if you destroy it, you could face penalties that change the course of your life. Acts of vandalism commonly include:

  • Breaking windows
  • Damaging benches or public seating areas
  • Ripping bus seats
  • Slashing tires
  • Moving or breaking tombstones
  • Scratching windows
  • Keying vehicles
  • Etching in desks, tables or other furniture
  • Spray painting or graffiti
  • Destruction of a church or synagogue
  • Destruction of government facilities or public property (including highways)
  • Destruction of crops or farmland

Tampering with property can cause irrevocable damage to the owner. If you have a vandalism charge and get convicted you may be required to pay for damages to the property owner along with court fines and penalties.

False Vandalism Charges May Still Lead to Conviction

If you don't have right representation, and know you weren't involved in a vandalism crime, you still could be convicted of a criminal misdemeanor. The best course of defense is to hire an experienced attorney who is well-versed in criminal law. Ryan Russman has years of experience as a NH criminal attorney and has helped hundreds of clients prove their innocence. Why suffer the consequences if you didn't commit the crime?

Vandalism Laws in New Hampshire

According to the vandalism laws of New Hampshire, destroying property is considered criminal mischief. Anyone who has damaged another's property by defacing, rendering useless, or otherwise destroying could be subject to vandalism laws. New Hampshire stipulates that this type of criminal mischief is considered a Class B felony, or Class A misdemeanor depending on the circumstances that surround the crime. The following types of crimes may be subject to a felony conviction:

  • Financial losses in excess of $1000
  • Impairing public communication, transportation or other services (such as water or gas)
  • Damaging historical or cultural private or public property
  • Discharging a firearm in public indoor area

When a property owner reports less than $1000 but more than $100 in damages, the vandalism charge could be changed to a misdemeanor.

Contact NH Criminal Law Attorney Ryan Russman about your Criminal Misdemeanor

Attorney Ryan Russman will listen to your story. He offers a free consultation, and can help you out of your legal predicament. He delves into each case using all methods of research – examining records, interviewing witnesses and comparing past vandalism cases to get you the best help you need.

Call him today 603-772-3433

About the Author

Ryan Russman

Attorney Ryan Russman has dedicated his career to fighting for the rights of New Hampshire citizens. His practice, based in Exeter (Rockingham County) New Hampshire, is limited to cases involving DWI and DUI, other motor vehicle and criminal cases, and many cases involving personal injury. He is, however, best known as one of New Hampshire's leading legal authorities on DWI.


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