What may seem like nothing more than a prank to a young person may result in charges of vandalism, with potential penalties of confinement to a juvenile detention facility, heavy fines, restitution, years of probation and more.
What is vandalism?
Vandalism, also called criminal damage, is the destruction or defacement of property belonging to someone else without the owner’s permission. It is a criminal act, and in Arizona can result in the person alleged to be responsible facing charges ranging from class 2 misdemeanor to class 4 felony, depending on the circumstances. Some examples of acts that can result in charges of vandalism are
- Keying cars
- Painting graffiti
- Egging cars or other property
- Breaking windows
- Damaging road signs
- Slashing tires
- Defacing buildings
- Smashing mailboxes
While to adults the destruction of someone’s property is clearly wrong, in the mind of a juvenile it may just seem funny—that is until he or she ends up in court under threat of detention. What many immature young people fail to think about as they engage in inappropriate behavior, often influenced by peer pressure, is that a conviction can wreak havoc with their future, limiting opportunities for college admission, scholarships, and employment.
Competent representation makes a difference for juveniles
Having the right lawyer can make all the difference in the outcome of a young person’s case. Our goal is to get young clients back on the right track while avoiding detention and a permanent record, so the child can move past a juvenile mistake to face the future without the stigma of a record of a criminal conviction.
Your child will have a lawyer regardless of whether you choose to hire one. There are many fine and dedicated public defenders in Arizona. Unfortunately, their enormous caseloads often make it difficult or impossible for them to spend the amount of time on a case that a private defense lawyer can. Hiring an experienced juvenile defense lawyer is an investment in your child’s future.
Jeremy Geigle at Jackson White Law will explore every option available to avoid adjudication, reduce penalties, and keep your child’s record clean by applying his years of skill and knowledge of the juvenile justice system. Call Jeremy today for a free consultation to learn what options might be available when your child is facing vandalism or other juvenile charges.