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What does 'Crim misch li' stand for and what are the possible penalties?

Portland, OR |

My friend just got arrested last week and the charges were Crim Misch li (a misdemeanor) reckless driving (a misdemeanor).

Attorney Answers 3


Criminal mischief is a crime that is committed when a person damages property belonging to another person. The charge of criminal mischief in the second degree is a misdemeanor, and carries penalties including possible jail time, fines, probation, restitution, and community service.

Any person who is facing a criminal charge should consult a criminal defense attorney to find out what can be done to minimize the consequences.

One option in the case of criminal mischief is to seek a civil compromise, which can result in the charge being dismissed.

Your friend should not contact the alleged victim. Establishing contact with the alleged victim is one thing that your friend's defense attorney can do to seek a favorable resolution of the matter.

We defend clients on criminal charges all the time. Your friend is welcome to contact our office for a free and confidential consultation.

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Mr. Cogan correctly points out that Crim Misch. II stands for Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree. You can find the legal definition here:

Possible penalties include up to one year in a jail and a fine of $6,250 and a presumptive suspension of Oregon driving privileges for 90 days for each charge (Reckless Driving and Criminal Mischief II). In most cases, particularly for first-time offenders, the typical sentence is no jail, bench probation, fines, and community service. However if your friend's criminal history has other recent traffic convictions or otherwise looks bad, he or she may have to serve some time if convicted.

In addition if convicted of Reckless Driving your friend will never be able to have that conviction removed from his or her record as Oregon law does not permit defendants to expunge traffic crime convictions. If convicted of Criminal Mischief II only your friend may be able to have the conviction removed from his or her record within 3 years from the date of conviction. If convicted of both your friend will have to wait 10 years before being able to expunge the Criminal Mischief conviction, and, as I said, will never be able to expunge the Reckless Driving conviction.

If your friend is unfortunate enough to be convicted of both counts then it's likely that the sentences and other penalties he or she serves for both crimes will run simultaneously. For example his or her 90 day Oregon driving privilege suspensions will be considered to occur at the same time.

You friend should follow Mr. Cogan's advice: Hire a lawyer immediately and don't talk to anyone about the case other than lawyers he or she seeks consultation with. It's important to seek the help of experienced legal counsel to walk your friend through all of the possible options such as civil compromise (for the criminal mischief charge only) or a potential traffic diversion for the Reckless Driving charge (now available to first-time offenders in both Multnomah and Washington Counties).

Good luck.

This post is offered as general information and is not intended as legal advice. This information does not in of itself create any attorney-client relationship.

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My colleagues are spot on. It stands for Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree, which involves property damages. If you click on the link Mr. Heydenrych provided, you will see that there are different ways a person can commit this crime. Because your friend was also charged with reckless driving, my guess would be that the authorities believe that in the course of driving recklessly, he caused property damage with his car.

Both charges are Class A misdemeanors. The maximum penalty for each one is, by statute, 1 year in jail and a fine of $6,250. Assuming your friend is convicted on both charges, the judge will ultimately decide what his sentence will be. If he is a first time offender, the maximum is unlikely. But, he should beware that some jail time, a hefty fine, a probationary term, community service and/or restitution to the person whose property was damaged are all very real possibilities.

Your friend needs an attorney now. He should talk to no one about his side of his case, including you. He should only talk to his attorney.

Dear Asker: This answer is not legal advice, and I am not your attorney. But if you want me to be, I'm a phone call away: (503) 227-0965.

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1 comment

Jay Bodzin

Jay Bodzin


Whenever someone here says that something happened to "their friend," I just assume that it happened to the poster themselves, and they're just being cagey about admitting it. This is perhaps more cynical than strictly necessary...

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