We’ve all heard the term “vandalism” used in mainstream media and often associate it with intentionally damaging or defacing someone else’s property…but vandalism goes a little deeper than that. Not only are there various types of vandalism, but there are also various punishments for vandalism in Texas.
If you or your loved one has been charged with vandalism or criminal mischief, a reputable bail bondsman company in Tarrant County can help you get out of jail sooner. Here’s what you need to know about bail bonds for vandalism in Tarrant County.
What Is the Definition of Vandalism in Texas?
In Texas, the law classifies vandalism as a form of criminal mischief, or an act performed by an individual wilfully that destroys, defaces, or alters someone else’s property.
Vandalism in Texas could be in various forms and could lead to different charges. There are three main places in the Texas Penal Code where vandalism is defined in detail and where one can learn more about the types of punishments associated with vandalism in Texas. These sections include the following:
- Texas Penal Code section 28.03 Criminal Mischief
- Texas Penal Code section 28.04 Reckless Damage or Destruction
- Texas Penal Code section 28.08 Graffiti
According to the Texas Penal Code section 28.03, a person could be charged with vandalism and criminal mischief if they, without the consent of the owner:
- Intentionally or knowingly damages or destroy the tangible property of the owner
- Intentionally or knowingly tamper with the tangible property of the owner and cause pecuniary loss or substantial inconvenience to the owner or a third person
- Intentionally or knowingly make markings, including inscriptions, slogans, drawings, or paintings, on the tangible property of the owner.
Reckless Damage or Destruction
The crime could fall under the Texas Penal Code section 28.04 Reckless Damage or Destruction if an individual, without the effective consent of the owner, recklessly damages or destroys property of the owner. Reckless damage or destruction is considered a class C misdemeanor.
Lastly, the Texas Penal Code section 28.08 covers matters regarding graffiti. A person commits an offense if, without the effective consent of the owner, they intentionally or knowingly make markings, including inscriptions, slogans, drawings, or paintings, on the tangible property of the owner with:
- An indelible marker
- An etching or engraving device
Vandalism Charges in Texas
The punishment for vandalism in Texas is highly dependant on the severity of the damage done to the property. The general rule of thumb is that the bigger the damage the bigger the punishment.
Here are some guidelines:
If the damage is less than $100, or just causes the owner of the property a lot of inconveniences, it is considered a Class C misdemeanor. With this, one could get a fine of $500.
For damages between $100 and $750, an individual could be charged with a Class B misdemeanor. The punishment for vandalism in Texas in this case could be fines of up to $2,000 and jail time of up to 180 days.
If the damage is between $750 and $2,500, it’s considered a Class A misdemeanor. This is punishable by fines that could go as high as $4,000 and jail time for up to one year.
For damages between $2,500 and $30,000, it’s a state jail felony and could result in fines of up to $10,000 and time in a state jail, ranging from 180 days up to two years.
For damage amount between $30,000 and $150,000, it’s a third-degree felony and comes with fines of up to $10,000 and two to 10 years in prison.
Any damage between $150,000 and $300,000 leads to a second-degree felony charge and it means an individual could be in prison for two years and up to 20 years.
Lastly, any damage amount over $300,000 is deemed a first-degree felony. With this, you could be on the hook for fines of up to $10,000 and could spend anywhere from five years to 99 years in prison.
The Seriousness of Graffiti in Texas
Graffiti, amongst other forms of vandalism in Texas, could lead to some hefty fines and charges as well. If an individual is charged and convicted of graffiti, they may not just be fined and face jailtime…they could also be forced to pay for the damages and removal of the graffiti.
Much like vandalism charges, the punishment for graffiti varies depending on the severity of the damage. While damage less than $500 is considered a Class B misdemeanor, any damage amount between $100,000 and $200,000 is considered a second-degree felony and comes with state prison time between two years and 20 years.
It’s important to note that regardless of the damage done, if a person commits graffiti on a school, community center, church, public monument, or cemetery, it’s an automatic state jail felony.
Bail Bonds for Vandalism in Tarrant County
If you or your loved ones are in jail for criminal mischief, PCS Bail Bonds can help them get out of jail. We provide bail bonds for vandalism in Tarrant County and have helped many families over the past 25 years.
We are easy to contact. We serve our clients 24/7 and Se Habla Español. We are proud of our work. We understand that people make mistakes, and we don’t judge our clients. We offer full confidentiality, competitive rates on bail bonds, and no credit check required.
Our licensed bail bond agents in Fort Worth are able to serve all jails within Tarrant County, Texas, and can be at the jail to assist you in as little as 30 minutes.