In Washington State, malicious mischief is a crime that happens when you cause physical damage to someone else's property. Malicious mischief can include erasing records, information, data, computer programs, or similar computer-related files that are recorded for use in computers. It can also include the impairment, interruption, or interference with the use of these records.
When your case is reviewed by a lawyer or the courts, a variety of things will be considered, particularly the value of the item you may have damaged. Ultimately, the consequence for malicious mischief in Washington State is based on the value of the damaged item.
Degrees of malicious mischief in Washington State
As is the case in many states, malicious mischief in Washington State is separated into three different categories, called degrees. Each degree is determined by the value of the damaged item:
Each degree has an associated maximimum sentence and/or fine.
Maximum sentences for malicious mischief in Washington State
Each degree of malicious mischief is also considered a particular type of crime, such as a misdemeanor or a felony, by the courts. The maximum sentence for each degree of malicious mischief depends on the type of crime it is considered.
Keep in mind that these are the maximum sentences. If you are accused of any of these crimes but have little or no criminal history, it's unlikely that you will receive the maximum sentence.
If you are accused of malicious mischief in Washington State
If you are accused of malicious mischief in Washington State, it's advisable to contact an attorney in order to understand your options. Resolutions vary widely and include, but are not limited to, the following:
The last three options are often reserved for people with little or no criminal history.
Washington State Legislature: Classification and Designation of Crimes (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=9A.20.010)
Washington Courts: Washington State Court Rules on Appeal (http://www.courts.wa.gov/court_rules/index.cfm)
Washington State Legislature: Compromise of Misdemeanors (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=10.22)
Related Legal Guides:
Washington State Theft
Possession of Stolen Property in Washington State
Expungement in Washington State
Seattle Lawyer (http://www.cultivalaw.com)