26 Jul 2018
President Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was destroyed, again, this week by someone with a pick ax. This is the second time in less than two years that his star was vandalized.
Witnesses observed a man carrying the pick ax break up the star on the pavement. The suspect then called police himself and advised that he was the one who vandalized the star. The man was later booked on suspicion of felony vandalism.
In the previous incident, the defendant in that case plead no contest to felony vandalism and was sentenced to three years of probation, 20 days of community service and ordered to pay $4,400 for the damage.
Vandalism laws in California prohibits the maliciously damaging, defacing or destroying someone else’s property, you did not own that property, or owned it with someone else. If the property’s value is below $400, this will generally result in a misdemeanor charge. If the damage done is above $400, this will generally result in a felony (“wobbler”) charge. The penalties for a conviction of misdemeanor vandalism can include up to 1 year in county jail, a fine of up to $1,000 (or more if you have prior convictions), and informal probation. Keep in mind, however, that other potential penalties can include a suspension of your driver’s license for up to 2 years, mandatory counseling and community service.
While every case, and set of facts, is different, some common defenses to vandalism charges are that the damage was an accident, mistaken identity, damage done was not malicious in nature. Also, the use of a “civil compromise” is common in vandalism cases and allows for the criminal proceedings against you to be permanently suspended (effectively dismissed).
If you have been charged or are being investigated for a vandalism-related offense, contact attorney Ross Erlich as soon as possible. There are a number of ways in which to fight your case and attorney Ross Erlich provides a free case consultation. Oftentimes reaching out to the victim in the case to make sure they are compensated for any out-of-pocket expenses and are “made whole”, greatly helps the case resolve in your favor.
Don’t go at it alone. Let an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney represent your best interests and get you the result you deserve. Attorney Ross Erlich handles vandalism cases in all Los Angeles county courthouses, Orange county courthouses, and Ventura county courthouses.