Malicious Mischief Defense in Pullman
Working to Reduce Charges & Avoid Penalties
There are three degrees of Malicious Mischief in the State of Washington. What determines the "degree" of crime is the value of the damaged property. Regardless of the degree charged, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knowing and maliciously caused physical damage to someone else’s property. To be "malicious" means that you did the act with an evil intent, wish, or design to vex, annoy, or injure another person.
- The three degrees of malicious mischief are classified as follows:
- Malicious Mischief in the First Degree is defined in RCW 9A.48.070 and is a class B felony. Generally, this crime is charged when the damaged property was worth more than $5,000.
- Malicious Mischief in the Second Degree is defined in RCW 9A.48.080 and is a class C felony. This crime is charged when the damaged property was worth more than $750.
- Malicious Mischief in the Third Degree is defined in RCW 9A.48.090 and is a gross misdemeanor. This crime is charged when the damaged property was worth $750 or less. This charge may possibly be dropped through the “Compromise of Misdemeanor” process.
Defending Your Malicious Mischief Charges
It’s important to remember that the burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove you committed the crime as described in the statute. We will do everything to challenge the prosecution, arguing that there was no ill intention, the act was an accident, the damage to the property was not the direct result of your action, or that the value of the damaged property is less than described to reduce the charge.
If you are charged with Malicious Mischief in the Third Degree, we may be able to convince the alleged victim to testify that the harm they endured has been satisfied, meaning that we can get the charge dropped with their cooperation. This, however, cannot be done if the crime is connected to domestic violence, because in those cases, the charges are brought about by the State and not a private citizen.
For more information on this process and for a free consultation, call our Pullman criminal defense attorneys today at (509) 593-4370.