Under the laws of Kentucky, the charge of criminal mischief is a criminal offense related to damage to property. It can be done deliberately, or carelessly, if you knowingly commit some action that endangers, or could reasonably be dangerous and reckless. The more serious the cost of the damage, the more strict the charge is, and the resulting penalties if convicted.
Criminal Mischief Laws
Criminal Mischief in the First Degree
1st degree criminal mischief is defined by Kentucky statutes as intentionally or wantonly defacing, destroying, or damaging any property which you have no authority to do so and the value of such damage is greater than $1,000.
Criminal mischief in the 1st degree is a Class D felony punishable by one to five years in state prison and $10,000 in fines.
Ref: Kentucky Rev. Statutes 512.020
Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree
You may be charged with 2nd degree criminal mischief if the prosecution has probable cause that you intentionally or wantonly defaced, destroyed, or damaged any property of which you have no authority to do so and the value of the damage is more than $500.
This offense is a Class A misdemeanor which carries a potential sentence of $500 in fines and up to 12 months in jail.
Ref: Kentucky Rev. Statutes 512.030
Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree
The least serious of criminal mischief offenses, criminal mischief in the 3rd degree is defined as intentionally or wantonly defacing, destroying, or damaging any property or tampering with property to knowingly endanger someone or someone’s property.
Criminal mischief in the 3rd degree is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $250 and a maximum of 90 days in jail.
Ref: Kentucky Rev. Statutes 512.040
Kentucky Arson Laws
Arson is a felony charge that results from deliberately or wantonly/recklessly starting a fire or explosion. Felony offenses result in prison sentences if you are found guilty of the charge in court.
Arson in the 1st Degree
You may be charged with the very serious offense of 1st degree arson if the prosecution has probable cause to believe that you started a fire or caused an explosion with the intent to destroy or damage a building and:
a. The building is occupied or you should have reason to believe it is occupied, or
b. Someone sustains serious physical injury because of the arson.
First degree arson is a Class A felony and carries a potential sentence of 20 to 50 years in prison and fines reaching up to $10,000.
Ref: Kentucky Rev. Statutes 513.020
Arson in the 2nd Degree
Second degree arson is committed when you start a fire or explosion with an intent to destroy or damage a building of another or any building with the intent to collect or facilitate the collection of insurance money.
Arson in the 2nd degree is a Class B felony punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Ref: Kentucky Rev. Statutes 513.030
Arson in the 3rd degree
Arson in the 3rd degree is the least serious of arson offenses. You could face this charge if the prosecution has probable cause that you wantonly cause destruction or damage to a building by starting a fire or causing an explosion.
This offense is a Class D felony which carries 1 to 5 years in prison as well as up to $10,000 in fines.
Ref: Kentucky Rev. Statutes 513.040