Road rage – we all get it. Whether we mumble at another driver under our breath, shout out load, or lay on our horns, we are all guilty of getting angry at other driver’s at some point in our lives. However, these outbursts of anger can turn dangerous when they prompt altercations with other drivers. If you damage someone else’s property as a result of your road rage, you can be charged with criminal mischief.

Here, I will discuss the different degrees of criminal mischief. I will also explain the penalties that a person convicted of each type of criminal mischief faces. If you face a criminal mischief charge, this information can help you.

Degrees of Criminal Mischief

There are four degrees of criminal mischief.

1st Degree Criminal Mischief

If you damage public utilities or cause damage of property that costs $1,500 or more, you will be guilty of 1st degree criminal mischief which is a felony. You face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 if convicted.

2nd Degree Criminal Mischief

If you purposefully cause property damages that cost more than $250, you will be guilty of this crime. You face a fine of up to $2,000 and a jail sentence of up to 1 year.

3rd Degree Criminal Mischief

If you intentionally damage or tamper with someone’s property, you face this charge. If convicted, you face a fine of up to $1000 and a jail sentence of up to 6 months.

4th Degree Criminal Mischief

This doesn’t really apply to road rage, but if you damage smoke alarms, fire alarms, or fire hydrants, you face this charge. If convicted, you could receive a fine of up to $500 and a jail sentence that could last for 3 months.

Getting Help

As you can see, criminal mischief in the first degree is the most serious of the mischief charges. No matter which charge you face, you should take it seriously. If you do not know how to defend yourself, it is a good idea to contact an attorney. They will know what to do and will walk you through the process. To speak to a lawyer today, you can contact my office.