In every city is a fact to see walls, cars, windows or doors spray painting on; trash cans punched, scratching paint on walls and more may be considered just misbehavior from teens, but it is not as simple. Those actions are denominated vandalism. It is defined as the destruction or damaging of property leaving physical blemishes that diminishes the property’s value. Any damage, besides what was mentioned before, other actuations are vandalism also: the so called “romantic act” of carving a heart with initials on a tree is one example; puncture car tires is other example; so as you may see, not for being common they are ok.
When your fences, your car, windows or doors at your property receive vandalism actions, it is time to ask for professional help to restore everything. American Loss Consultant is 100% trained to provide you of a complete set of professional companies that will clean and restore everything at your property. In a short time, we can go in your help and activate restoration process. Graffiti’s marks are not nice at all at your property and of course, you want to have a pretty home. Professionals will handle all vandalism trace, renovating your home.
How can you recognize you are Vandalism Victim?
You have already read what the most common acts that deal with vandalism are. Unfortunately, although you think your property has been seriously damaged, vandalism is not considered a serious crime. Usually the maximum penalties include fines and up to a year in the local jail. If you want to initiate actions against vandalism actors, you have to be clear about the procedures and elements to take into considerations. As professional consultants, American Loss Consultant can give you a hand in advising during all the procedures.
When stating vandalism, it is mandatory the evidence of physical damage. As physical damages law states graffiti, tagging, carving, etching and other forms of damages that destroy property or stop its proper functioning. Also, damaged property or item must be owned by someone else; if you graffiti your own fence that is not considered vandalism; if you bumper stickers to a car with permission of the owner, that is not vandalism. A third aspect required for considering an action as vandalism is to make it intentionally; if you rash the paint of a car accidentally, if you spill paint over your neighbor’s with no intention, those are not vandalism, but in the two situations you might be required to pay for the damages. We are able to recommend you professionals that assist you during the process and other professional that conduct all restoration required.
How serious or not are penalties for vandalism will depend on how expensive restoration of vandalism damages are. That is to say, if the result of vandalism are kind of misbehaviors, the maximum penalties include fines or at much, a year in local jail; but if damages on valuable properties are really serious vandalism is defined as felony which means significant fines or more than a year in state prison. Money is the different; if damage worth less than $500 is a misdemeanor; while anything worth $500 or more is a felony. Penalties are different from each state. Most commonly applied penalties around the country are:
Jail. Jail verdict from vandalism varies from days to several years, depending on how much money damages are and if criminal has previous jail penalties.
Fines. They are paid to the court and not the property owner; they are quite different from state to state; fines can be of only some hundreds or more than $20,000.
Restitution. This consists of paying directly to the property owner enough money to repair damages that were caused.
Probation. Court may not send offender to jail or claim a fine if it is his/her first time. Violation of any of the rules by offender will leave court the right to ask him/her to serve the original jail sentence.
Community service. This is a court decision consisting of converting jail sentence into community service as part of punishment. Similar to probation, failing community service will send offender to jail.
Florida State penalties in case of vandalism are not as high as in other states. For example, if damaged property is valued at $200 or less, the person commits a second degree misdemeanor with a punishment of 60 days maximum in jail. Damages greater than $200 and less than $1,000, it is defined as a first degree misdemeanor punishable of 1 year in jail at most. But if damages over property exceed $1,000, it is a third degree felony, punishable until 5 years of imprisonment. Besides vandalism requires you spend money on restoration of your property, it is also quite useful to hire the services of professionals who assist you after being victim of vandalism. American Loss Consultant will give you a complete list of professionals that can restore and clean your property as well as assist you during insurance claim.
Legal Issues Related to Vandalism in Florida State
As a victim, you might feel upset, worry and indefenso . in any other time you might be again victim of vandalism. It would be really ideal never to face vandalism but we consider relevant to warning you about some legal issues in Florida State.
- Section 806.13 states as a criminal mischief the willful and malicious causing of damage to any property belonging to another person. Damages include acts of graffiti, vandalism, sabotage, defacement, breakage or other destructive act. To prove the crime is necessary to establish: the defendant injured or damaged property (real or personal); the property injured or damaged by the defendant belonged to the alleged victim (identify by the prosecution); and the injury or damage was done willfully and maliciously.
- In at least two districts of Florida, criminal mischief is considered a “general intend” crime, requiring only that the offender act willfully and maliciously towards the owner with the knowledge that injury or damage will be done.
- In the 2nd, 4th and 5th District Courts of Appeals, criminal mischief is considered a “specific intend” crime.
- Acting with malice towards the person of a victim is insufficient to sustain a conviction for criminal mischief.
- Injury or damage to property is a required element of criminal mischief. The charge must be dismissed where there is no evidence of damage to the property at issue. For example, if a teenager pulls down a dilapidated fence at a mobile home park to climb over it, and the owner testifies that the fence had already been damaged from being previously used in such a manner, the evidence is insufficient to support a conviction for criminal mischief.
- In felony prosecutions for criminal mischief, the State must not only show that the defendant’s acts resulted in property damage, but also prove beyond a reasonable doubt that such damage exceeded $1,000.
For all the above, we strongly recommend you to hire professional assistance: lawyer and public adjusters. They manage all legal issues in case you want to start a legal procedure, a claim at insurance company or both. You need relief in hard times and we can provide you the ideal legal assistance to overcome the bitter moments.
Steps to Follow if you were Vandalism victim
Here we show you some specific steps to take in vandalism’s emergency:
- Never fight with vandalism offenders
- Call authorities to report the incident
- Notify insurance company about the incidents. Take pictures to record the incident.
- Hire a lawyer and a public adjuster for professional assistance. American Loss Consultant as an advisor company can help you with that issue.
Try to be careful and trust on professionals to overcome the situation.