In Oregon, the most commonly prosecuted property damage offense is Criminal Mischief. It is separated into 3 different classifications based on the severity of the offense.
3rd Degree Criminal Mischief
A charge of 3rd degree criminal mischief applies when there is probable cause present to believe that you acted with intent to cause someone substantial inconvenience and tampered or interfered with someone else’s property.
Criminal mischief in the 3rd degree is a Class C misdemeanor which means you could be sentenced to as much as 30 days in jail and fines of $1250.
Ref: Oregon Rev. Stat. §164.345
2nd Degree Criminal Mischief
If you are accused of committed criminal mischief by acting with intent to cause substantial inconvenience, you tamper with or interfere with someone else’s property, or intentionally or recklessly damage someone else’s property, and in that act you cause damage to the property that is valued at more than $100 you could face this charge.
This crime is a Class A misdemeanor. Class A misdemeanors carry a potential sentence of up to 1 year in jail and fines reaching $6250.
Ref: Oregon Rev. Stat. §164.354
1st Degree Criminal Mischief
There are several acts that could cause you to be charged with 1st degree criminal mischief, the most serious criminal mischief charge under Oregon law. If you damage someone else’s property and any of the following apply, you could face this charge in the Oregon criminal courts:
- The damage committed is greater than $750,
- The damage is done by fire while you are committed to and confined in the institution,
- The property is a livestock animal,
- The property is of a public utility, communications carrier, railroad, public transportation, or public medical facility, or
- The act is committed by intentionally interfering with or changing the service of a public utility, communications carrier, railroad, public transportation or public medical facility.
Criminal mischief in the 1st degree is a Class C felony. This felony charge carries a potential penalty of up to 5 years in state prison and fines reaching $125,000.
Ref: Oregon Rev. Stat. §164.365
Unlawfully Applying Graffiti
Although this vandalism offense is only considered a violation and not a crime, it does carry an additional penalty worthy of interest to anyone facing this charge. You could be charged with this unlawfully applying graffiti if the prosecution believes you intentionally damaged the property of another by applying graffiti to the property.
This violation is punishable by fines but also a mandatory community service obligation. If convicted of this violation you will be required to serve 100 hours of community service which is to be spent cleaning graffiti.
Ref: Oregon Rev. Stat. §164.383