Crime & Punishment of Looting & Criminal Mischief in Florida
In light of recent events at President Trump’s Inauguration in DC, our lawyers feel that it is a good time to discuss criminal mischief. Under Florida law, criminal mischief occurs when a person knowingly, willfully, and maliciously causes damage to any property belonging to another person or entity. Looting – something that has been happening a lot recently and that occurred during the Presidential Inauguration on Jan. 20 – is a form of criminal mischief and is punishable in accordance with Florida Statute 806.13.
Criminal Mischief Charges in Florida
According to Florida state law, the punishment for a crime classified as criminal mischief depends on the extent of the damage committed. If the total amount of damage is less than $200, the offender will be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. If the total amount of damage is between $200 and $1,000, the offender will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor and sentenced to up to one full year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Criminal mischief can become a felony rather quickly. If the amount of damage exceeds $1,000, the offender is subject to a third-degree felony charge, which is punishable by up to five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
If an offender is charged with his or her second criminal mischief charge, it may automatically be charged as a third-degree felony, despite the amount of damage committed.
Criminal Mischief in Washington
Donald Trump’s Presidential Inauguration is one of the worst in the history of the U.S., amongst William Taft’s and George W. Bush’s. However, whereas their inaugurations were deemed bad through no fault of their own, Trump’s inauguration mishaps had everything to do with the president himself. In protest of his admittance into office, protesters flocked to D.C. and committed crimes such as looting and rioting to let their thoughts be known. Despite their beliefs that they were acting within the boundaries of their fifth amendment rights, those protesters can – and likely will be – charged with criminal mischief. As for the protesters who looted businesses such as Bank of America and Starbucks? They will likely be charged with Washington DC’s highest charge for criminal mischief for damages done.
Defense to Criminal Mischief
If you have been charged with criminal mischief in Florida, especially if it was during a mass-looting incident such as the one in Washington DC, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced Orlando criminal defense lawyer right away. The lawyers at The Baez Law Firm will aggressively defend you against charges of criminal mischief, and will evaluate the circumstances surrounding your case to determine the best course of action. If you have been arrested and charged with criminal mischief in Orlando, FL, call 800-588-BAEZ today, or schedule your free consultation online.