The Stakes Are High

Being accused of criminal mischief can make the future uncertain.  There’s no room for error.  To avoid hefty fines and jail time, it’s important to have a strong lawyer to guide you through the Connecticut court system. 

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7 Mistakes That Could Ruin Your Criminal Defense Case

7 Mistakes That Could Ruin Your Criminal Defense Case

Connecticut Criminal Mischief Attorney

Have you been arrested and charged with criminal mischief in the state of Connecticut? Criminal mischief can be a serious felony or misdemeanor charge that can result in jail time and severe fines. Connecticut criminal mischief attorney Erin Field is here to help you get through this legal situation.  Let me help you.

If you plead or are found guilty you will end up with a permanent criminal record on a public Connecticut offender database that can be found by anyone. Even if you made a dumb mistake and think you are guilty of the criminal mischief charge, it makes sense to evaluate your legal defense options to prevent a permanent scar on your record that could impact your future.

Please contact me to find out how I can fight the charges and prevent the most serious penalties. If you made a mistake, you deserve a second chance. Don’t just accept a punishment that may be much harsher than you deserve!

Defining What Criminal Mischief Is

Criminal mischief is a destruction of property crime, which could include any type of physical damage to another person’s property or to public property. It can range from keying a person’s car, putting up graffiti, or much more serious destruction.

Under Connecticut’s criminal laws, the charge of criminal mischief is charged at different degrees based on the seriousness of the damage, as well as the target of the incident.

Common reasons behind a crime of criminal mischief are domestic disputes, road rage incidents, revenge attacks, and juvenile pranks.

If you are not guilty of the charge, then you absolutely need to fight these charges. But even if you believe you are guilty, lost your temper, or just did something dumb, don’t just accept a harsh punishment without a negotiation that could save you from a serious criminal record.

Different Criminal Mischief Charges Under Connecticut Law

You can be charged with 1st degree criminal mischief (a felony), if it involves:

  • property damage in excess of $1500;
  • damage to public utilities;
  • monitoring equipment related to conditional discharge from the courts, such as a tracking device;
  • or, damaging fire alarms, smoke alarms, or other public safety equipment.

2nd degree criminal mischief is the criminal charge if it involves:

  • tangible property damages above $250;
  • or, is done with intent to cause damage to property.

3rd degree criminal mischief is the criminal charge if you:

  • intentionally or recklessly cause damage to someone’s property, or government property;
  • or, tamper with property that causes it to become endangered.

4th degree criminal mischief is the criminal charge if you:

  • intentionally or recklessly cause damage or tampers with a fire hydrant, smoke or fire detection equipment or other government property for fire alarm, fire suppressant, or police alarm purposes.

Connecticut Criminal Mischief – Penalties

There are four degrees of criminal mischief that you can be charged and convicted of in Connecticut. Each degree comes with varying levels of punishment for the crime. As an experienced Connecticut criminal mischief attorney, I can help reduce your charge.

Degree Penalty Classification
Criminal Mischief, first degree
  • From 1 to 5 years in prison
  • Fines up to $5,000
Class D Felony
Criminal Mischief, second degree
  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • Up to a $2000 Fine
Class A Misdemeanor
Criminal Mischief, third degree
  • Up to 6 months in jail
  • Up to a $1000 Fine
Class B Misdemeanor
Criminal Mischief, fourth degree
  • Up to 3 months in jail
  • Up to a $500 Fine
Class C Misdemeanor

How to Fight a Connecticut Criminal Mischief Charge

Strategies I many use to fight criminal mischief charges in Connecticut may include:

  • Challenging identification by a witness: Are they certain it was you? Could it be a mistaken identity?
  • Reduction of charges: Can I get this reduced down a level, or possibly dropped from a criminal charge to a civil trespassing charge?
  • Restitution: Will they drop the charges in exchange for payment of the cost of the damage, and court costs?

My defense strategy will depend completely on the facts of your case. But the goal is to keep your record clean.

The sooner you get to a Connecticut criminal mischief attorney the better off you will likely be. Your case may be tricky to work on and complicated to fight. You want to get your attorney working on your case as soon as you possibly can.

To get on top of a case as soon as possible is only going to benefit you, and it is a good thing to be proactive. I want to protect your rights and ensure your future for you.

Please Call Connecticut Criminal Mischief Attorney Erin Field Today

These cases can be complicated, and how I would actually proceed really depends on the facts of your case. Call me for a case evaluation and consultation on your charges. I’ll reviewing the facts with you and let you know what I can do to help.

Connecticut Criminal Mischief Statutes

CrimeStatuteClassification (Penalty)
CrimeStatuteClassification (Penalty)
Criminal Mischief in the First DegreeCGS § Sec. 53a-115
Class D felony (1 to 5 years)
Criminal Mischief in the Second DegreeCGS § Sec. 53a-116
Class A misdemeanor (up to 1 year)
Criminal Mischief in the Third DegreeCGS § Sec. 53a-117
Class B misdemeanor (up to 6 months)
Criminal Mischief in the Fourth DegreeCGS § Sec. 53a-117a
Class C misdemeanor (up to 3 months)