Bethlehem Criminal Mischief Attorney

If you have been charged with or received a citation or Summons for criminal mischief (18 Pa. C.S. § 3304), you may be wondering what is defined as “criminal mischief” and how does this affect me? Criminal mischief is a criminal offense which can be classified as a summary offense, misdemeanor, or felony depending on the monetary loss to the damages property.

Criminal Mischief Defined

A person can be charged with criminal mischief for intentionally or recklessly damaging property or causing someone financial loss through threat or deception. There are also different subcategories which can result in a charge of criminal mischief depending how the property damage was caused (fire/explosives, graffiti, paintball gun, etc.).

Criminal Mischief Penalties

The maximum penalty for disorderly conduct depends on the grading, which is based on the monetary loss of the damages property:

  • Summary Offense – Damage $500 or less – Maximum 90 days in jail and/or $300 fine plus costs and restitution
  • 3rd Degree Misdemeanor – Damage exceeds $500 – Maximum 1 year in jail and/or $2,500 fine plus costs and restitution
  • 2nd Degree Misdemeanor – Damage exceeds $1,000 – Maximum 2 years in jail and/or $5,000 fine plus costs and restitution
  • 3rd Degree Felony – Damage exceeds $5,000 – Maximum 7 years in jail and/or $15,000 fine plus costs and restitution

Will Summary Criminal Mischief Show Up On My Record?

The simple answer is it depends. A citation for summary criminal mischief should not show up on an FBI background check or Pennsylvania State Police background check. However, citations could be located on Pennsylvania’s web portal. Therefore, a criminal mischief citation may show up on your record if you apply for a job and the employer performs a background check. If you are found not guilty or the citation is dismissed, you must file an expungement petition with the Court of Common Pleas in order to have it removed from Pennsylvania’s web portal.

Bethlehem Criminal Mischief Attorney

If you are charged with criminal mischief, I would recommend fighting it. Although a conviction would likely only result in a fine and an order of restitution, the bigger implication is how it may affect your future employability. Feel free to contact me by calling (484) 362-9286 for a free consultation.