Jersey Shore Defense Lawyers – Criminal Mischief on the Jersey Shore
Have you been charged with Criminal Mischief in one of the New Jersey Shore Towns?
Whether you have been charged with Criminal Mischief in Wall, Belmar, Asbury Park, Manasquan, Bradley Beach, Spring Lake Heights or any other New Jersey shore town, you are facing serious criminal consequences. If convicted, a Municipal Court Judge could sentence you up to 6 months in jail, fine you up to 1000 dollars and also require that you pay the alleged victim thousands in restitution for any damaged property. Additionally, a criminal conviction on your record can have lasting consequences for both your education and employment.
Stop Worrying and Call Clark, Clark & Noonan today at (732) 303-7857
At Clark, Clark & Noonan we specialize in Criminal Mischief cases on the New Jersey Shore. Our certified criminal trial attorney and former prosecutors have handled thousands of these types of cases in and around the New Jersey Shore for well over 30 years. We consistently have New Jersey Criminal Mischief cases dismissed, amended to lesser non-criminal offenses or our clients found not guilty after a trial. Unlike other alleged criminal defense firms, our experience includes going to trial on hundreds of felony and misdemeanor (disorderly person offenses) cases like Criminal Mischief cases. We do not get taken advantage of in plea negotiations because prosecutors know we will take the case to trial if our client doesn’t get a favorable outcome.
Many criminal defense firms claim they have experience. But not every firm can claim they have the experience that matters. At Clark, Clark & Noonan our defense attorneys start by examining every possible way in which we can try and get your case dismissed. We will make sure any police misconduct is challenged and we will make sure your Constitutional rights were not violated. We are skilled in exploiting factual mistakes in the police report, attacking the credibility of witnesses, and establishing all of the defenses that can lead to your acquittal. In cases where the evidence against you appears strong, we still have the ability to negotiate a result that will leave you feeling relieved. Do not try and do this alone. Whether you are charged with Criminal Mischief in Wall, Belmar, Lake Como, Bradley Beach, Manasquan, Spring Lake heights or any other New Jersey Shore town in Monmouth or Ocean Counties you need the best representation available. At Clark, Clark & Noonan, our New Jersey criminal defense lawyers will safeguard your rights and help you avoid a criminal record. Call for a free consultation and case assessment today at 732-303-7857.
Criminal Mischief in New Jersey : NJSA 2C: 17-3
Criminal Mischief in New Jersey is a disorderly person’s offense (other State’s refer to it as a misdemeanor offense) and covers a wide range of conduct including acts that are “on purpose” as well as acts that are considered reckless. Criminal Mischief is one of those criminal offenses in New Jersey where the seriousness of the offense is strictly related to the amount of damage alleged. For example, if the police claim you caused more than 500.00 dollars worth of damage to someone’s property then you can be charged with a felony. A felony conviction can result in a prison sentence between 18 months and 5 years with a fine of up to 15,000 dollars. If the police claim you caused 500 dollars or less worth of damage to another’s property then the offense will be classified as a Disorderly Persons Offense (DP). A Disorderly Persons offense is New Jersey’s version of a Misdemeanor.
As you can tell from above, a conviction for a Disorderly Persons offense can result in up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to 1000 dollars. Whether it is a disorderly persons offense or felony, the charges are considered criminal offenses and could have a profound effect on your criminal record. As stated above, the attorneys at Clark, Clark, and Noonan have over 30 years of experience handling Criminal Mischief charges in New Jersey both as prosecutors and defense attorneys and we will help safeguard your rights and clean record.
Criminal Mischief – Definition
The law on Criminal Mischief in New Jersey is located at NJSA 2C:17-3 and states as follows:
Criminal Mischief. a. Offense defined. A person is guilty of criminal mischief if he:
(1) Purposely or knowingly damages tangible property of another or damages tangible property of another recklessly or negligently in the employment of fire, explosives or other dangerous means… ; or
(2) Purposely, knowingly, or recklessly tampers with tangible property of another so as to endanger person or property, including the damaging or destroying of a rental premises by a tenant in retaliation for institution eviction proceedings.
(3) Criminal Mischief is a crime of the third degree if the actor purposely or knowingly causes pecuniary loss of $2000.00 or more.
(4)Criminal Mischief is the crime of the fourth degree if the actor causes pecuniary loss in excess of $500.00 but less than $2000.00. It is a disorderly persons offense if the actor causes pecuniary loss of $500.00 or less.
Charged with Criminal Mischief in New Jersey – You May Have a Defense
The Warrant or Summons the police have signed against you for Criminal Mischief is nothing more than a charging document that requires you to go to court. It is not evidence of a criminal offense or crime. Whether you have been charged in Wall, Belmar, Lake Como, Manasquan, Bradley Beach, Spring Lake Heights, or Asbury Park, you may have a number of valid defenses in this case which could lead to your charges being dismissed. Contact our experienced criminal attorneys and former prosecutors to discuss your case at (732) 303-7857 for a free consultation with an attorney at Clark, Clark, and Noonan.
Charged with Criminal Mischief But you Did Nothing? Let Us Fight for You
The New Jersey Shore has many summer rentals where young people, as well as families, escape for the summer. In places like Belmar, Lake Como, and Manasquan, it is not unusual for 5 to 10 college students to rent a house for the summer. Inevitably, something gets damaged during a party or just as a result of a typical accident. Oftentimes, the police are called to a home and immediately sign charges for Criminal Mischief against everyone in the house without even trying to figure out who caused the damage. Other times, the police base their charging decision solely on eyewitnesses and alleged victims who may have reasons to lie about what actually happened. If you are on the lease, you could find yourself charged with Criminal Mischief even though you had absolutely nothing to do with the offense.
At Clark, Clark & Noonan, LLC, we don’t allow you to go down for a crime you did not commit. If the police did not do a thorough investigation, we make sure we do our own investigation. Do not worry, your day in court will come and the attorneys at Clark, Clark, and Noonan will help you get your Criminal Mischief charge dismissed. If you didn’t cause the damage, there is a good chance your case will be dismissed after the trial or during plea negotiations. Call Clark, Clark & Noonan today to discuss all your potential defenses in our free consultation and case assessment at (732) 303-7857.
What if I Don’t Have a Defense? – Do Not Worry the State Has the Burden of Proof
You may have been charged with Criminal Mischief in Wall, Belmar, Lake Como, Manasquan, Bradley Beach, Spring Lake Heights, Asbury Park, or some other New Jersey Shore town and are now extremely worried because you may be guilty of Criminal Mischief. You may ask “does that mean I have to just plead guilty?” The answer is “no”. As a defendant in a criminal case, you do not have the burden to prove the case. In other words, you are presumed innocent and it is the State – the prosecutor – who has to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecutor has to subpoena witnesses for testimony and present evidence before the judge to prove each and every element of the offense against you beyond a reasonable doubt. If he presents insufficient evidence or if the Judge has a “reasonable doubt” as to your guilt then he must find you “not guilty.”
At Clark, Clark & Noonan, we know when the State will have difficulty proving its case. We also know when the State’s witnesses may lack credibility and we are able to exploit the witnesses’ credibility issues both before and during the trial. Sometimes, it is simple enough to argue that the State has not met its burden of proof even if you, possibly, committed the criminal offense of Criminal Mischief. Our experienced advocacy will often lead to the prosecutor downgrading your charge to a non-criminal offense or allowing you to enter a diversionary program on a lesser charge which ultimately will lead to a dismissal of your New Jersey Criminal Mischief charge. At Clark, Clark, and Noonan, we have the meaningful experience and defense strategies that will put you in the best position to safeguard your rights and protect your future from a criminal record. Call us today for a free consultation and case assessment at 732-303-7857.