Criminal Mischief in Pennsylvania
Contact our experienced Pittsburgh criminal defense attorneys to learn your rights and options concerning the crime of criminal mischief or any other charge. Below you will find the actual text of the Pennsylvania statute governing criminal mischief charges in Pennsylvania. This was current as of July 2010. Our Pittsburgh criminal defense law firm is primarily in the business of fighting for defendants’ rights; we are not in the business of updating websites, but wanted to at least give you some information for educational purposes, only. You should talk to a lawyer for legal advice to fully learn your rights in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties. We will explain to you the mischief-related crime, possible punishment, and all your options.
18 Pa.C.S.A. § 3304. Criminal mischief
(a) OFFENSE DEFINED.– A person is guilty of criminal mischief if he:
(1) damages tangible property of another intentionally, recklessly, or by negligence in the employment of fire, explosives, or other dangerous means listed in section 3302(a) of this title (relating to causing or risking catastrophe);
(2) intentionally or recklessly tampers with tangible property of another so as to endanger person or property;
(3) intentionally or recklessly causes another to suffer pecuniary loss by deception or threat;
(4) intentionally defaces or otherwise damages tangible public property or tangible property of another with graffiti by use of any aerosol spray-paint can, broad-tipped indelible marker or similar marking device;
(5) intentionally damages real or personal property of another; or
(6) intentionally defaces personal, private or public property by discharging a paintball gun or paintball marker at that property.
(b) GRADING.– Criminal mischief is a felony of the third degree if the actor intentionally causes pecuniary loss in excess of $ 5,000, or a substantial interruption or impairment of public communication, transportation, supply of water, gas or power, or other public service. It is a misdemeanor of the second degree if the actor intentionally causes pecuniary loss in excess of $ 1,000, or a misdemeanor of the third degree if he intentionally or recklessly causes pecuniary loss in excess of $ 500 or causes a loss in excess of $ 150 for a violation of subsection (a)(4). Otherwise criminal mischief is a summary offense.
(c) DEFINITION.– As used in this section, the term “graffiti” means an unauthorized inscription, word, figure, mark or design which is written, marked, etched, scratched, drawn or painted.