Criminal Mischief Lawyer

Property damage crimes like criminal mischief may seem relatively minor but they are punished harshly in Texas. The most serious felony cases can be subject to life imprisonment and a fine up to $10,000. When faced with such serious consequences, make sure you put your trust in a Dallas, TX criminal mischief lawyer who will not back down from the authorities and will make them prove their case. Jeff King puts you first and fights for a not guilty verdict.

In Texas, criminal mischief is a broad category, covering a range of property crimes that can amount to charges ranging from Class C misdemeanor to first degree felony. The punishment varies based on the criminal intent of the offender and the amount of loss the damage caused – it can result in fines and prison sentences that rival those handed down for violent offenses.

What is Criminal Mischief in Texas?

Criminal mischief is a broad category of property crimes under the umbrella of vandalism. The Texas Penal Code defines criminal mischief as a property crime that is intentional and without the owner’s consent and involves:

  • Damage or destruction of property;
  • Tampering with the property in a way that causes loss or substantial inconvenience; or
  • Marring the property with inscriptions, painting, or other types of marking.

The prosecutor must be able to prove each element of the charge beyond a reasonable doubt. A TX criminal mischief lawyer will look for weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, such as any lack of evidence of intent or eyewitnesses to place the defendant at the scene of the physical damage, and attempt to prevent the prosecution from meeting its burden. Jeff King knows how to put prosecutors to the test and hold them accountable to prove every element of the charge.

What Types of Crimes are Criminal Mischief in Texas?

Texas Penal Code § 28.03 defines the crime of criminal mischief and provides that it may constitute a Class C misdemeanor, a first degree felony, or something in between. The type of charge, and associated criminal penalty, depends on the intent of the defendant as well as the amount of financial loss caused by the destruction of property.

The statute outlines the following levels of criminal charges:

  • Class C misdemeanor: The pecuniary loss is less than $100 or the property damage causes substantial inconvenience to others. Punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.
  • Class B misdemeanor: The pecuniary loss is at least $100 but less than $750. Punishable by a fine not to exceed $2,000 and/or up to 180 days in jail.
  • Class A misdemeanor: The pecuniary loss is at least $750 but less than $2500 or the actor interferes with the public water supply. Punishable by a fine not to exceed $4,000 and/or up to one year in jail.
  • State jail felony: The pecuniary loss is at least $2500 but less than $30,000; less than $2500 but the damaged property was (a) a habitation and the damage was caused by a firearm or explosive weapon, or (b) a fence used to contain certain animals; Less than $30,000 and the actor caused interruption of public communication, transportation, gas, power supply, or other public services. Also, if the damage is to a place of worship or human burial, public monument, or community center, and the loss is at least $750 but less than $30,000. Punishable by a minimum of 180 days, and a maximum of 2 years, in a state jail and a fine up to $10,000.
  • Third degree felony: The pecuniary loss is at least $30,000 but less than $150,000. Punishable by imprisonment between 2 and 10 years and a fine up to $10,000.
  • Second degree felony: The pecuniary loss is at least $150,000 but less than $300,000. Punishable by imprisonment between 2 and 20 years and a fine up to $10,000.
  • First degree felony: The pecuniary loss is at least $300,000. Punishable by imprisonment for life or for a term between 5 and 99 years and a fine up to $10,000.
“Competent and Compassionate”

I found Jeff to be a competent and compassionate advocate. As a client, he was the “voice” that I needed him to be to achieve a good result. He allowed me to communicate my needs to him and then diligently went to work to attain them. I would recommend him without hesitation.

“I was given a fair and positive outcome.”

With the type circumstance I had, it was not a hard case nor one that required a court visit or in front of a Judge but it did take some research and many hours of information gathering. I was given to the point, fair and accurate information by Jeffery King and he stuck with me through the whole ordeal. This was not only vital but very personable and I appreciated that to the fullest. I felt comfortable and positive through the entire situation and was given a fair and positive outcome. I thank Jeff King and his other staff that were involved for all they did.

“Prepared, Aggressive & Passionate about the Defense”

As the father of a recent active duty Air Force client of Mr. King’s, and being intimately involved day to day with the case, I can say without hesitation nor mental reservation, Jeff King is a consummate professional. Jeff was not only prepared, aggressive, and passionate about the defense, he also made the time to explain in detail every facet of the trial as it progressed. Having an attorney of Jeff’s caliber in our corner bestowed a feeling of confidence to our family, which was a critical factor in our ability to manage the stressfulness inherent to such serious allegations. Jeff prepared the entire family for every scenario, good and bad, and for that we are forever grateful. Upon receipt of the not guilty verdict and celebrating the obvious joy we felt that this “created adventure” had now come to an end, also came the realization that not only had he won this case, and with it our son’s continued freedom and innocence, but we had made a friend of the highest regard. Our family cannot thank Mr. King enough for his excellent representation on behalf of our son, but also for the lofty amount of integrity and humility demonstrated during the most trying time of our lives. Much respect and Semper Fi.

“Jeff is the best!”

I thought my life was over when I was accused of a horrible crime at a general court-martial. From the moment I met Jeff, he instilled confidence in my case and showed a real enthusiasm for what he does. Be warned: Jeff will put you to work! He prepares for battle and expects you to contribute. He is confident in court and I enjoyed watching the jury respond to him. In the end, I was found NOT GUILTY to all charges! I am so grateful that I hired Jeff to defend me.

“Jeff sets the standard.”

Jeff was amazing! He handled my case through the end of the Article 32 hearing, and set the basis for my acquittal. If it had been any other IO than the one it was, I am certain it would have been dismissed right then, as all the objections he made in the Article 32 were later upheld by the Military Judge, and they been upheld at the Article 32 hearing, it would have been dismissed on the spot. His knowledge, and preparation made all the difference in my case, and his relentless pursuit of the truth showed through. He will always be my first recommendation to anyone who needs legal help.

How Can an Attorney Help?

Defending a Texas property crime charge requires long-term vision as well as quick thinking. It requires the ability to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a case and to see the future implications of actions like negotiating a plea or fighting through a trial if that is the best move.

There is much at stake when facing a property crime charge in Texas. The long-term implications can affect your work and family life, financial situation, and even your freedom. With so much to lose, it pays to put your trust in a driven TX criminal lawyer.

Jeff King puts his 15 years as a criminal defense attorney in Texas to make sure you understand your legal options. He has successfully defended clients charged with serious property crimes, leading to reduced or dismissed charges.

To discuss your case privately, contact Jeff King today.

Additional Resources:

    1. Texas Legislature, Penal Code Title 7. Offenses Against Property Chapter 28. Arson, Criminal Mischief, and Other Property Damage or Destruction,
    2. Texas Legislature, Penal Code Title 3. Punishments Chapter 12. Punishments Subchapter A. General Misdemeanors,

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