Misdemeanor Criminal Mischief, Penal Law Section 145.00 Information


Criminal Mischief

New York Penal Code:


Offense Level

Class A misdemeanor

Description of Crime

Breaking up or destroying someone else's property without permission.  Example - Throwing a brick through someone's window.  The breaking of the window could be charged as criminal mischief.

Jail Sentencing Range

Nothing up to One Year at Rikers Island

Potentially Available Settlement Options for First Arrest

(1) Plea to Disorderly Conduct (non criminal offense) along with restitution (paying back value of property broken)

(2) Plea to Disorderly Conduct (non criminal offense) along with fine up to $250 and/or comunity service

(3) ACD (Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal) with restitution

(4) ACD with community service

Potential Complicating Factors that might influence Availability of Above or Desirability of Particular Options Above

(1) Domestic Violence Context

(2) Non-Citizen

(3) High Value of Property in Question

(4) Prior Criminal Convictions

Factors that ought to be Considered

(1) Lack of Criminal History

(2) Value of Property

(3) Relationship of Accused to Owner of Property

(4) Ability to Make Restitution

(5) Employment of Accused

Practice Comments

In many criminal mischief cases, the willingness and ability to make restitution (to repair or replace damaged property) will go a long way toward getting a positive negotiated settlement with the Government.  By no means a guarantee, it is, however, a great place to start negotiations if negotiations are what you are looking for.


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