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Property crimes: What is criminal mischief?

On Behalf of | Apr 7, 2022 | Criminal Defense, Misdemeanor or Felony Crimes |

No one wants to be accused of committing a crime. It can be a terrifying experience and have an enormous impact on your life and that of your family. Criminal mischief is a charge which comes up quite often, either by itself or alongside another charge.

Criminal mischief defined

Oregon law uses criminal mischief to classify many crimes against property. It could be something as simple and straightforward as vandalism or it could be attached to a DUI charge, where the driver also crashed and damaged property. The severity of the charge depends on the circumstances.

Criminal mischief in the third degree

Third degree criminal mischief is the simplest form and is a class C misdemeanor. It’s committed when a person tampers or interferes with the property of someone else, while intending to cause serious interference. It typically involves little to no actual damage to the property.

Criminal mischief in the second degree

Second degree criminal mischief is a class A misdemeanor and can be committed in one of two ways. First, by tampering or interfering with another’s property but also causing damage in excess of $500. Or by intentionally or recklessly damaging property in excess of $500.

Criminal mischief in the first degree

In its most serious form, criminal mischief is class C felony punishable by time in prison. If the property damage exceeds $1000, that by itself can raise criminal mischief to the first degree level. But regardless of the dollar amount involved, it can also be charged if explosives were used or if the property damaged was a public utility, railroad, medical facility or other location specified within the statute.