What is Mischief?
Mischief occurs when a person wilfully or recklessly damages or destroys another person’s property. Mischief also includes circumstances where you obstruct, interfere or interrupt with another person’s lawful enjoyment or use of his or her property. Finally, mischief also occurs where your actions cause another person’s property to become dangerous, useless, ineffective or inoperative.
What are some examples of Mischief?
- Damaging private property.
- Damaging public property.
I damaged my own property, can I still be charged with Mischief?
If you are the sole owner of the property damaged you cannot be convicted of mischief. However, if the property damaged is jointly owned, then you may be charged and convicted of mischief.
Am I eligible for Diversion?
Yes you may be eligible for diversion. Diversion may include completing some community service work or making a donation to a recognized charity.
Whether diversion is available in your case will be at the discretion of the Crown Attorney. However if hire a lawyer, he or she can advocate on your behalf, including speaking with the Crown Attorney why diversion may be an appropriate resolution in your case.
What Defences do I have?
As with many other criminal offences, identity may be an issue in some cases of mischief. The Crown Attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were the person that damaged, destroyed, obstructed or interfered with another person’s property.
The Crown Attorney must also prove that you wilfully or recklessly damaged, destroyed, obstructed or interfered with another person’s property.
What is the Penalty if I am Convicted of Mischief?
The penalty available for mischief will depend upon the facts of the case. In circumstances where the mischief causes danger to another person’s life, the maximum penalty on conviction is life imprisonment.
If the property that is damaged or destroyed exceeds $5,000 then the maximum penalty is 10 years in jail if the Crown Attorney proceeds by indictment, and 6 months in jail and/or a $5,000 fine if the Crown Attorney proceeds summarily.
I am charged with Mischief, What do I do?
You should contact a criminal defence lawyer. Although mischief is not one of the more serious criminal offences, a lawyer’s knowledge and expertise of criminal law can make a difference in the outcome of your case. Simply put, a criminal defence lawyer may be able to resolve your case so you don’t end up with a criminal conviction or a criminal record.
Give me a call or email me if you have been charged with mischief.