Vandalism is a broad and often-prosecuted charge in the state of Rhode Island. If you are accused of “willfully and maliciously or mischievously injuring, destroying, or defacing someone else’s property” or obstructing the use of someone else’s property you could be facing this charge in criminal court.
If facing vandalism charges, you are likely charged with a misdemeanor. The misdemeanor offense of vandalism carries several different potential penalties including:
- Up to 1 year in jail
- Up to $1000 in fines
- 100 hours of community service for a first time conviction
- 200 hours of community service for a 2nd or subsequent conviction, and
- Restitution paid to the owner of the property that was damaged
Ref: RI Criminal Statute §11-44-1
Injury to Public Property
If the prosecution has probable cause to believe that you willfully cut, deface or otherwise injured any public building or property you will face an Injury to Public Property charge in Rhode Island criminal court.
If the value of damage is more than $100, you will be fined by at least 3 times the amount of the damage (up to $500) and face up to one year in jail. If the damage is less than $100, you will be fined at least $100.
You will also be required to pay restitution for the damage committed in the commission of this offense.
Ref: RI Criminal Statute §11-44-12
Rhode Island law defines the offense of graffiti as willfully, maliciously, or mischievously writing upon, painting or otherwise defacing any building. If you are accused of this offense, you will face misdemeanor charges.
For your first offense you will face up to $500 in fines and up to 100 community service hours . If you have been convicted of this offense in the past, however, you will face up to $1000 in fines and 200 hours of community service.
Ref: RI Criminal Statute §11-44-21.1