If your actions cause enough damage, you can definitely go to prison for criminal property damage or malicious mischief. That’s what happened to two men in California, after they were found guilty of carelessly and illegally starting a fire that got out of control and led to multiple homes burning down.
According to the LA Times, the two men were sentenced to a year in jail as a result of their careless action starting and illegal wildfire in 2007 that lead to 53 homes in Malibu being destroyed. They pleaded guilty to criminal charges of recklessly starting a fire causing injury and causing an inhabited structure to burn, which are arson related property damage charges in California.
In addition to jail time, they will be forced to pay millions to help cover the cost of the damage to all those homes, as well as the extensive time and effort involved for the firefighters to quell the blaze.
While most malicious mischief charges don’t result in anything this serious, any careless or destructive behavior can easily get out of control.