criminal mischief

According to New Jersey statute N.J.S.A 2C:17-3, the definition of criminal mischief is “a defendant purposely or recklessly –  with conscious disregard of a substantial risk of danger to the other person or property – tampering with another person’s tangible property so as to endanger the person or property.” A variety of different crimes fall under the criminal mischief charge category, resulting in various penalties. Because of this, if you or a loved one has received a criminal mischief charge, contact a New Jersey attorney like Leon Matchin. He will study your case to see if he can get charges dismissed or downgraded. Read on for four different acts categorized as criminal mischief.


Graffiti is considered purposely tampering with tangible property. As a result, graffiti charges are criminal mischief. The penalty depends on the amount of damage done to the property.

Tampering with Gas or Water Mains

Another criminal mischief charge is tampering with a public utility. As a result, it also comes with harsh penalties. This crime is a conscious disregard for putting both people and public property in danger. Because of this, the potential penalty is 3-5 years in a state prison. This is a third-degree criminal offense.

Tampering with a Grave

Tampering with a grave is another criminal mischief charge that’s a third-degree crime. As a result, any kind of tampering with a grave, crypt, or mausoleum with the intent of destroying or removing anything from it, leads to 3-5 years in a state prison.

Tampering with Aviation Facility

Any damage, removal, or impairment of air traffic devices, as well as tampering with airport landing fields or aviation facilities, is a fourth-degree crime. This charge also comes with up to 18 months in prison.  

Contact A New Jersey Attorney If You’re Facing Criminal Mischief Charges

Depending on the crime and the amount of damage done, criminal mischief leads to prison sentences of various lengths. Because of this, criminal New Jersey takes criminal mischief charges very seriously. Crimes such as graffiti, tampering with public utilities, destroying or removing things from graves, and tampering with aviation facilities are all different types of criminal mischief. New Jersey attorney Leon Matchin is very experienced in defending those charged with criminal mischief. He will analyze your case and gain as much information as possible about the circumstances. The goal is to get charges dismissed or at least downgraded. Call Leon Matchin today at 732-887-2479, or contact him via email at [email protected] for more information about the services he can provide.