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Can I be convicted of domestic vandalism?

San Diego, CA |

I was arrested yesterday, after my husband called 911 when I broke 2-3 glass plates and bowls (owned by us) after a heated argument. I was charged with domestic vandalism (not violence as no one was injured or been attempted to injure, although we have a 5 year old son in the other room). My husband requested the arresting officer not to arrest me, but he said that they have to do it. Later I was bailed out with $1000 that my husband posted. My question is even if my husband drop charges (which he is going to do) the public prosecutor can convict me just for breaking my own property ?

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Attorney answers 1


Your husband cannot drop charges. Once the DA files a criminal complaint, only the judge can dismiss the complaint.

Yes, you can be convicted of vandalizing property that you jointly own with another person. California is a community property state, so everything you and your husband acquire during your marriage belongs to both of you, with some exceptions such as gifts or inheritances that belong solely to one or the other.

It is also possible the DA will not file charges based on the low amount of loss. They may be satisfied that the police removed one of you for the night, before the situation escalated into something more violent.

You should talk to an attorney about this case before making any decisions. If you can't afford an attorney, the court will appoint a public defender to represent you.

Please understand that this is a general discussion of legal principles by a California lawyer and does not create an attorney/client relationship. It's impossible to give detailed, accurate advice based on a few sentences on a website (and you shouldn't provide too much specific information about your legal matter on a public forum like Avvo, anyway). You should always seek advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction who can give you an informed opinion after reviewing all of the relevant information.

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