In simplest terms, ‘Mischief’ means causing damage to someone else’s property. Let’s find about what is the offence of mischief and what are the consequences of committing different types of mischief.
Section 430(1) of the Criminal Code describes the person who can be tried for committing mischief to property. Everyone is said to have committed mischief if he willfully does any of the following acts:
- Destroys or damages property.
- Renders property dangerous, useless, inoperative or ineffective.
- Obstructs, interrupts or interferes with the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property.
- Obstructs, interrupts or interferes with any person in the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property.
Mischief Over $5000.00 does not relate to the amount of the damage rather it relates to the value of damages item.[/vc_column_text]
Most Mischief related offences are hybrid offences, meaning, the crown will determine whether they wish to process summarily or by indictment. The crown will take the severity of the offence along with other circumstances related to the case and the accused into consideration when making the determination. Should the Crown proceed by indictment, the maximum penalty one receives is an imprisonment term of up ten years for mischief over $5000.00 and two years if the value of the property damages is less than $5000.00. If the crown proceeds by way of a summary conviction, you may be liable to an imprisonment term of up to six months. In circumstances where one endangered a life, the penalty one receives can be life in prison.
It is important to note that most mischief convictions will unlikely result in any jail time. Depending on the property damages, along with the circumstances of the accused and the offence itself, a defence counsel might be able to negotiate a withdrawal of the criminal charges if restitution is paid for the damage caused.
What to do After Arrest?
If the police arrest you for committing mischief, you still retain all your legal and Charter rights, which include the right to consult a lawyer, right to obtain bail, and more. The police must let you talk to your lawyer before taking your statement. In such scenario, it is advised that a good Criminal Defense Lawyer should be contacted so that you being a layman in terms of legal issues may not make a grave mistake.
The next step after arrest and making a statement is to obtain bail. Unless the police deem the accused safe enough to be released to the public, they may keep them in detention. Here, a Criminal Defense Lawyer will help the accused obtain bail from a court of law. At a bail hearing, the lawyer will argue before the judge as to why his client is legally entitled to be released.
If you are in Ontario and you ever find yourself in a situation where you are or might be arrested, give us a call at (844) 978-8444 and rest assured that there will be a licensed professional looking out for your freedom and well-being.