Juveniles Face Harsh Penalties For Criminal Mischief in Jacksonville

Young Jacksonville residents love to have fun, be active, and sometimes express their feelings in a very obvious manner, be it through toilet papering houses, forking yards, or drawing graffiti on walls. However, many residents do not appreciate this type of expression. The legal system does not appreciate this type of expression either, and as a result, there can be steep consequences to these expressions.

Criminal Mischief is a crime common to every age group, and as a result, the legal system does not typically take this type of crime lightly.

According to Florida Statute 806.13, a person is charged with criminal mischief when they intentionally and maliciously damage someone’s property, be it through graffiti, arson, or some other form of vandalism.

There are many different types of criminal mischief, as well as many different punishments for each of them. However, without an experienced attorney, one will have a tough time with the penalties for the charge.

Under Florida Statute 806.13, if the damage caused to the property is less than $200, one will be charged with a second degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and $500 in fines. If the damage to the property is between $200 and $1,000, the jail time is increased to a year, and fines are increased to $1000. If the damage is more than $1,000, then one will be charged with a 3rd degree felony, which carries up to 5 years in prison and $5,000 in fines.

Criminal Mischief in Jacksonville comes in many forms, but the most common is graffiti. If a person is convicted of criminal mischief involving graffiti, the person will have to pay a fine of $250 for the first conviction, $500 for the second conviction, and $1,000 for the third conviction.

In addition to the extreme amount of fines and jail time one can face, if one is a minor, one’s parents can be held liable for all fines the Court assesses, and, if one has a driver’s license, one can have one’s license suspended for up to a year.

These steep penalties may not seem like something too horrible, but when placed together in a very common situation, they can be very horrible. Take a 16 year old male in his junior year at a local Jacksonville high-school for example. A young man with his entire future ahead of him, a prom to prepare for, friends, and probably a girlfriend. One day this young man, while hanging out with some friends, decides to spray-paint a concrete wall with a symbol from one of his favorite bands.

The young man in this situation would be charged with probably a first degree misdemeanor, be subject to up to a year in jail, $1,000 in fines, an extra $250 fine if this criminal mischief charge was his first offense, and possibly lose his driver’s license for up to a year.

Not only will this young man have to start out his professional life with a criminal record, but his life will be in effect wrecked by the time, energy and money spent dealing with this rather simple crime.


Many situations like this plague juveniles in Jacksonville. Juveniles want to have fun, have their voices heard, and leave their mark on society. Unfortunately, for some, that mark is costly. However, if one obtains an experienced Jacksonville Criminal Mischief attorney to fight for one’s case and present the best defense possible, the process of moving on passed this kind of charge may be more simple, smooth, and easier to deal with.

The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for more than a decade and is here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one requires a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.

Additional Source: 806.13: Arson and Criminal Mischief, Florida Legislature, The 2011 Florida Statutes