Misdemeanors, felonies and penalties of graffiti charges in Texas
For Texans who decide to take part in the writing of graffiti, they might be under the impression that it is a mostly harmless activity that does not have serious consequences attached to it. After all, these types of property crimes are not actually injuring anyone. They might even be under the impression that graffiti charges do not carry severe punishments. However, graffiti can lead to an arrest and even rise to the level of a felony making it all the more important to understand the charges and to plan a strong property crimes defense as soon as possible.
If a person marks a property without the approval of the owner in any way, it can be considered a graffiti offense. This includes inscribing, placing a slogan, drawing or painting on the property if it is done with paint, an indelible marker or an etching/engraving device. The charges can range from a first degree felony to a Class C misdemeanor. It will be a Class C misdemeanor if the cost of the damage is less than $100. It will be a Class B felony if the cost of the damage is $100 or more, but less than $750. And it will be a Class A misdemeanor if the cost of the damage is $750 or more and less than $2,500.
The charges will rise to a felony in the third degree if the damage costs $30,000 or more and less than $150,000. It will be a second degree felony if the loss is $150,000 or more, but less than $300,000. It will be a first degree felony if the amount of loss is $300,000 or more. It will also be a felony with potential jail time if it is done on a school, a place of human burial or worship, a public monument, or a community center providing medical care, social programs or educational programs and if the amount of damage is $750 or more and less than $30,000.
Those who are faced with charges related to graffiti must be cognizant of how a conviction can affect their lives. Simply being unaware of the possible seriousness of the charges and the penalties is not an excuse. In order to avoid or mitigate the penalties that can accompany a conviction, it is imperative to discuss the matter with an attorney who is experienced in helping clients who have been arrested on allegations of property crimes.
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