Your answer sounds like advice given from a public defender. Often times, their case load is so great that they are more interested in getting a file off their desk rather than evaluating the merits and going to trial. I reccomend you contact another attorney for a second opinion.
Who knows? Did you have a lawyer? If you did you should ask him. Otherwise a lot depends on numerous factors: was it misdemeanor or felony vandalism (sounds like misdo) and all the facts and circumstances of the case including your criminal history.
If you are doubting the advice of the attorney you currently have, perhaps it's time to hire another attorney...one who can give you a thorough assessment of the case in-person, much more so than we can do on the internet.
Whether the outcome in a particular case is "fair" depends on all of the facts of that case. Without reading police reports and reviewing the other evidence, it's impossible to say how good a deal this is. You should discuss this with your attorney, and ask him or her WHY it's fair.
Criminal defense Crime classifications Felony crime Misdemeanor crime Criminal charges for vandalism The 4th amendment and criminal defense Right to counsel in criminal cases Court-ordered community service for criminal conviction Probation for criminal conviction Filing a lawsuit Civil rights