Marin and Barrett, Inc., our experienced team of Rhode Island Vandalism Lawyers has expertly defended hundreds of clients facing vandalism or malicious damage to property charges in R.I. Give us a call today to discuss how our criminal defense team's familiarity with local Rhode Island court system can help you resolve a vandalism charge on favorable terms. In most cases, our goal will be to secure a dismissal of your vandalism charge and expungement of the charges from your official criminal record. In some situations, however, especially if you have a prior record, we'll need to work toward a negotiated plea or be prepared to take your case to trial. We are available 24/7 at 401-228-8271 so call today for legal assistance.
Rhode Island Vandalism Lawyers
Attorneys Marin, Barrett, and Parrillo
Call Us Today For Experienced Vandalism Representation 401-228-8271
Read What One Former R.I. Vandalism Client Has to Say About Marin and Barrett, Inc.:
What is Vandalism in Rhode Island?
“Vandalism – Obstruction of lawful pursuits” commonly referred to simply as “vandalism” or “malicious damage to property” in Rhode Island makes it illegal to willfully and maliciously injure the property of another. The statute is rather long but the take away is simple: it is illegal to intentionally destroy or deface the property of another person or business.
What is obstruction of lawful pursuits?
The second half of the statute outlawing vandalism in Rhode Island is devoted to outlawing the obstruction of public pursuits. This makes it illegal to obstruct the use of the property of another or obstruct another from conducting his or her lawful business. Unlike obstructing an officer in the execution of his or her duty – a separate criminal offense addressed elsewhere in these FAQs – obstruction of lawful pursuits criminalizes the obstruction of private business and is punished in the same way as vandalism.
What are common forms of vandalism in Rhode Island?
Some common forms of vandalism include spray painting or “tagging” buildings or public property. Breaking another person's personal property is also a common example of vandalism. For instance, two people get in an argument and one breaks the others window or cell phone. Another frequent example is breaking structures, such as shattering a window or breaking a hole in a wall or a door. There is a lot of nuance unwritten in the law that create possible defenses for those accused of vandalism and it is important to have a skilled lawyer who can use these defenses to your advantage.
What is the penalty for vandalism in Rhode Island?
The penalty for vandalism and obstruction of lawful pursuits is laid out in Rhode Island General Law 11-44-1. Under Rhode Island law, a conviction under this statute is punishable by up to one year in prison, up to a $1,000 fine, or both. In addition, restitution must be paid to the victim for the cost of the damage. What separates the vandalism statute from most other misdemeanors is the addition of mandatory community service upon conviction. A first offense conviction for vandalism requires the individual perform 100 hours of community service and doubles to 200 hours for a second conviction. If you have been charged with vandalism do not leave your liberty, your money, or your time up to chance – hire an experienced lawyer to fight for you rights.
Is vandalism in R.I. a felony or a misdemeanor?
Under Rhode Island law, vandalism is categorized as a one year misdemeanor. While a misdemeanor is certainly less severe than a felony, the penalties for a vandalism conviction can be costly to your time, liberty, and criminal record. Do not let the misdemeanor fool you, you need an attorney to make sure that your rights are protected and you have the best possible chance of success.
Are there any defenses to vandalism charges in Rhode Island?
Like most criminal offenses, there are various defenses to vandalism charges and differ based on the facts of each case. Some of those defenses are not specific to vandalism but can be used if the circumstances are right. For example, the vandalism did not actually take place or if it did, someone else is responsible. The defense of alibi may also be used in some vandalism cases. Some of the defenses specific to vandalism are ownership (the defendant actually owns the damaged property); preexisting damage (the property was already broken); not permanent damage (nothing is actually broken). With such a variety of defenses available to defendants it is critical to have an attorney who is able to find the best defense to win your vandalism case.
Can vandalism in Rhode Island be a domestic violence offense?
Potentially yes. If the parties are in a domestic relationship as defined in Rhode Island General Laws 12-29, then the offense becomes a “domestic vandalism.” In addition to the penalties for vandalism outlined in 11-44-1, those convicted on domestic vandalism are also subject to the domestic violence penalties, including having to complete domestic violence counseling and the imposition of a No Contact Order against the victim of the vandalism. Domestic vandalism is legally characterized much the same way as domestic assault and the ramifications can be life changing, so it is important to have a skilled, aggressive attorney fighting your case. To read more about domestic vandalism in Rhode Island, review our Rhode Island Domestic Vandalism page.
What is the Rhode Island vandalism statute?
Vandalism and obstruction of lawful pursuits is a misdemeanor and is codified in Rhode Island General Law 11-44-1. If the parties or individuals involved are in a domestic relationship as defined in Rhode Island General Laws chapter 12-29 then a conviction can include the domestic enhancements spelled out in Rhode Island General Law 12-29-5.
Vandalism charges in Rhode Island can subject an individual to up to one year in jail, fined up to $1,000, and ordered to perform up to 200 hours of public community service. Oftentimes, people who have never been in trouble before can find themselves arrested and charged with criminal vandalism, often referred to as malicious damage to property. A conviction for vandalism, or malicious damage to property, can leave you with a permanent criminal record that can impact your ability to find jobs, obtain loans or credit, and impact your education. To learn more about our ability to represent your interests effectively in criminal vandalism cases, contact an experienced RI Vandalism Lawyer Matthew Marin.
We Defend Individuals Facing Vandalism Charges in the Following Rhode Island Cities and Towns:
The Marin and Barrett, Inc. team defends individuals facing prosecution for VANDALISM CHARGES throughout Rhode Island including Block Island, Bristol, Burrillville, Central Falls, Charlestown, Coventry, Cranston, Cumberland, East Greenwich, East Providence, Exeter, Foster, Glocester, Hopkinton, Jamestown, Johnston, Lincoln, Little Compton, Middletown, Narragansett, Newport, New Shoreham, North Kingstown, North Providence, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, Portsmouth, Providence, Richmond, Scituate, Smithfield, South Kingstown, Tiverton, Warren, Warwick, Westerly, West Greenwich, West Warwick, Woonsocket.
Should I hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer for Rhode Island vandalism charges?
Since you have been reading these FAQs you now know how severe the penalties for vandalism or domestic vandalism can be. With the possibility of a year in prison, a $1,000, and up to 100 hours – not to mention the restitution costs – you should not leave the outcome of a vandalism charge to chance. If you or a loved one has been charged with vandalism or domestic vandalism, call us today at 401-228-8271 and put one of our experienced attorneys to work fighting your case. Our criminal defense team is available 24/7 to discuss your case and provide you with a no-obligation Rhode Island vandalism defense strategy session.