The offense of criminal mischief according to Ohio statute is quite complex and broad. There are many acts that could land you a criminal mischief charge. This offense includes everything from physical property destruction to computer hacking.

Under the precise law, if the prosecution believes you did any of the following, you could be charged with this serious offense:

  1. Knowingly tampered with, move, damage, destroy, or deface someone else’s property.
  2. With intent to interfere with the use or enjoyment of someone else’s property, used a stink bomb, gas device, smoke maker or other device that releases something that is harmful or offensive or tends to cause alarm,
  3. Knowingly moved, tampered with, destroyed, damaged or defaced a bench mark, boundary marker, or other survey station, monument or marker,
  4. Knowingly moved, tampered with, destroyed, damaged, or defaced any safety device or any property that is used for the safety of others and the act diminished or destroyed its effectiveness as a safety measure, or
  5. In an attempt to impair the functioning of a computer, computer system, network, software or program by hacking, altering, damaging, or by destroying a computer, system, network, software, data within a computer or by introducing a virus.

The charge you face depends on many factors. The most serious of criminal mischief offenses is a 1st degree misdemeanor. This means you could face a maximum of 6 months in jail and fines up to $1,000.

Ref: ORC 2909.07

Criminal Damage or Endangerment

Not as serious as a felony arson, a criminal damage or endangerment offense is committed when you cause or create a substantial risk of physical harm to someone else’s property either knowingly, or recklessly by fire, explosion, flood, poison gas, and similar substances.

In most circumstances criminal damaging and endangering is a second degree misdemeanor which carries a potential sentence of up to 90 days in jail and fines up to $750.

Ref: ORC 2909.06


You could be facing an Ohio Vandalism charge if you knowingly cause physical harm to an occupied structure or its contents, or someone else’s property when that property is used  for their business. The severity of the charge you face depends on the value of the property damage.

Value of Damage Vandalism Charge Level
Potential Sentence
Less than $5,000 5th Degree felony 6-12 months in prison and $2,500 in fines.
$5,000 to $100,000 4th Degre felony 6-18 months in prison and $5,000 in fines.
More than $100,000 3rd Degree felony 1-5 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

Ref: ORC 2909.05