Columbus and Delaware, Ohio Juvenile Attorney
If you have been charged with vandalism in Columbus or Delaware, Ohio, contact Johnson Legal, LLC and speak with an experienced Columbus and Delaware, Ohio juvenile attorney. Attorney David Johnson of Johnson Legal, LLC will discuss your case and assist you in fighting the charges. Call (614) 987-0192 or send an email to schedule a consultation regarding your vandalism case.
Vandalism Under Ohio Law
Vandalism is defined under Ohio Revised Code 2929.05 as doing any of following:
- Knowingly causing serious harm to a structure (i.e., building, vehicle, etc.) that’s being used or any property inside it;
- Knowingly harm property owned or possessed by someone else when (1) it’s used for business purposes and either it’s worth $1000 or more, or the amount of damage is $1000 or more, or (2) it’s essential to that person’s job;
- Knowingly cause serious harm to property owned, leased or controlled by the government;
- Without permission, knowingly cause serious harm to a cemetery or the property within; or
- Without permission, harm a burial place by breaking and entering.
Vandalism is often a crime committed by juveniles. However, the state of Ohio does not distinguish between vandalism and juvenile vandalism Instead, the law applies to everyone regardless of their age. While the penalties may differ for adults and juveniles, a vandalism conviction can still result in serious penalties, including jail and substantial fines, regardless of the age of the alleged offender.
Penalties for Vandalism in Ohio
Depending on the circumstances, vandalism can be charged as a 5th, 4th or 3rd degree felony. Except as otherwise provided, vandalism is a 5th degree felony, which carries a potential 1 year prison sentence and a $2500 fine for adults. If the value of the property harm is between $7500 and $150,000, vandalism is a 4th degree felony carrying a potential 18 months in prison and a $5000 fine. If the value of the property harm exceeds $150,000, vandalism is a 3rd degree felony, which carries a potential 3 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
In addition to the penalties outlined above, secondary consequences may result from a vandalism conviction. These include problems maintaining your current employment or finding employment in the future, obtaining certain professional licenses, and certain immigration and naturalization issues.
For juveniles who are alleged to have committed vandalism, courts can be persuaded to pursue alternatives if sought by a skilled criminal defense attorney. After a thorough review of the prosecutor’s evidence, Attorney David Johnson will be able to advise you on what can be done to defend the case, including whether to seek alternative sentencing, a reduced charge or defending against the charge by entering a plea of “not guilty.” Hiring an attorney is critical, even for juveniles accused of vandalism, because a court may impose a minimum 6 month commitment to a juvenile detention facility and a fine of up to $750. In addition, the juvenile will have difficult applying to college or finding employment with a criminal record.
Ohio Court Process for Vandalism
Johnson Legal, LLC takes a comprehensive approach when representing clients charged with vandalism. First, Attorney David Johnson will file a demand for discovery from the prosecutor. This will consist of police reports, investigative notes, and any video or audio possessed by the police. This information will be reviewed to determine whether the police made any mistakes, such as whether your arrest was lawful, and other legal issues that can be raised on your behalf.
After reviewing the evidence, negotiations will be entered into with the prosecutor for a plea agreement that you can consider. If the case cannot be resolved through a favorable plea agreement, it will then proceed to a motion hearing (a hearing where a judge rules on evidentiary issues) or a trial before a judge or jury.
Columbus and Delaware, Ohio Criminal Defense Attorney
If your child has been charged with vandalism in Columbus or Delaware, Ohio, contact Johnson Legal, LLC and speak with an experienced Columbus and Delaware, Ohio criminal defense attorney. Attorney David Johnson of Johnson Legal, LLC will discuss your child’s case and assist you in fighting the charges. Call (614) 987-0192 or send an email to schedule a consultation regarding your child’s vandalism case.