Some New York residents may think that graffiti is not a big deal. They may not realize, though, that this is considered vandalism. Vandalism can come in many forms and it is important for people to recognize this, as well as understand the consequences of these acts.
Many different acts are considered vandalism. According to FindLaw, any behavior that results in the defacing or destruction of another person's property is vandalism. This includes putting graffiti on a building, as it defaces the structure. Scratching paint off of cars and throwing eggs at homes are also forms of vandalism. Additionally, changing street signs and slashing tires fall into this category.
People might face a variety of penalties if they commit an act of vandalism. They may be required to replace or repair the property they harmed and sometimes they may also need to pay a fine. In some situations, people might spend time in jail.
Vandalism is illegal in New York. FindLaw says that this crime typically falls under laws concerning property damage and is considered either criminal tampering or criminal mischief. If someone meddles on another person's property, this is usually considered criminal tampering. This covers acts of vandalism such as interfering with a property's utility connections. Criminal mischief includes vandalism that harms property. The severity of this charge generally depends on the monetary value of the damage. Someone who causes damage that is greater than $250 might be charged with fourth degree criminal mischief. If the property damaged amounts to more than $1,500, a person may face charges of second degree criminal mischief. When considering the severity of an act of vandalism, people usually consider the way a person damaged property, as well as the kind of property that was harmed. Someone's mental state is also typically taken into account.