Nevada Criminal Defense Lawyers

Malicious Mischief


Malicious mischief is a criminal legal term applied to offenses that involve the destruction of someone else’s property. Although property crimes like this are commonly seen as minor in contrast with crimes against people, offenses like malicious mischief can still carry heavy penalties and lasting effects.

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Sometimes these offenses (like graffiti) are done in fun. They aren’t seen as a serious criminal act until you are under arrest and awaiting a court date. Other times, malicious mischief is motivated by anger or revenge. Whatever the case, I can help.

There are several laws under the malicious mischief heading in Nevada. What the property is that was damaged or destroyed and how you actually went about damaging it can affect how you are charged and the potential penalty you face.

Nevada Graffiti/Property Defacement Laws & Penalties

If you are accused of defacing property and it doesn’t fall under any other of the malicious mischief charges, you could be charged with this offense. The penalty you face is dependent on the value of the damage done by the graffiti or defacement.

Unlike many other criminal statutes, this one prescribes both fines and community service hours in addition to potential jail time.

Value of Damage Charge Jail Time
Less than $250 Misdemeanor Up to 6 months
$250-$4,999 Gross Misdemeanor Up to 1 year
$5,000+ Class E Felony Up to 4 years

The recommended fines and community service depend on if you have ever been convicted of malicious mischief before.

First Offense- Fines of $400 to $1,000 and 100 hours of community service

Second Offense- Fines between $750 and $1,000 and 200 hours of community service

Third and Greater Offense- $1,000 fine and 200 hours of community service

In addition to jail time, community service, and fines, you will likely lose your license for a period of at least 6 months for a conviction of this charge.

Ref: NRS §206.330

Damage of Certain Properties

If you are accused of damaging certain protected properties, you could face elevated penalties. Those properties included are schools or other school property, church or other religious institution property, and any cemetery or other memorial type property.

This offense is considered a gross misdemeanor and carries a potential 1 year in jail. In addition, you will pay fines reaching up to $1,000 and 200 community service hours for this offense.

Ref: NRS §206.125

Entering Property with the Intent of Damaging

If you go onto someone else’s property with the intent of destroying or damaging it, you can face criminal charges. This charge applies even if no actual damage occurred.

If you enter the property of another willfully and maliciously, without their consent, and intended to take injure, or destroy anything you can face this misdemeanor charge. It carries a potential 6 months in jail and fines.

Ref: NRS §206.040

There are numerous charges covered under the Nevada statute for malicious mischief. If you are facing any property damage offenses like these, it’s in your best interest to consult with a local attorney.

Contact me today to discuss the specifics of your case and the options available to you. During this stressful time, you need an advocate in your corner.