Mischief is done when a person willfully damages or destroys property with no intent to steal it, or renders it dangerous, useless, inoperative or ineffective. It is also done when a person obstructs, interrupts or interferes with the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of the property. Mischief even includes acts performed on someone’s data, such as destroying or altering it, rendering data meaningless, useless or ineffective, or obstructs and interferes with the lawful use of data or information.
Most broadly-defined, mischief covers almost all circumstances that lead to the damage of another person’s property. If you are damaging your own property, then that is not construed as mischief. Examples of mischief or mischievous activities include damaging someone else’s home or vehicle, damaging public or private property, various acts of vandalism and even graffiti (tagging public or private property).
In order to prove guilt, the action must be seen as having been performed willfully. Sometimes recklessness is all that suffices to prove intent. An accused person may still be found guilty, even if there was no intent to cause the degree of damage that occurred.
If you are faced with a charge of mischief, do not limit your options by simply pleading guilty. Kruse Law firm can offer different valid defenses, according to your particular case and your circumstances.
Penalties come in a wide range, due to the variety of mischievous activities that can be performed, and the degree of their gravity. The penalty for mischief that causes actual danger to life is an indictable offense that can result in imprisonment for life.
The penalty for committing mischief to a property that is a testamentary instrument, or property that is valued at an amount exceeding $5000, is an indictable offense that can result in imprisonment for up to ten years, or an offense punishable on summary conviction. If it’s property otherwise mentioned, the penalty is an indictable offense liable to imprisonment for up to ten years, or an offense punishable on summary conviction. Sometimes, depending on the circumstances of the accused, the case may be dealt with a restorative justice program. To do this, the defendant’s lawyer proposes to deal with the matter outside the court, so that the file could be moved to a corrections official who will assess the accused and start him up in the restorative justice program. That’s why it is important to get an experienced criminal lawyer to counsel you when faced with a charge of mischief.
When consulting with a criminal lawyer, it is important to be prepared to answer a number of questions, such as the circumstances of the charges, the strength of the case and what the Crown will need to prove guilt, any statements that you may have released and possible extenuating circumstances.