My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.
Ohi Rev. Code, Section 2909.07 defines criminal mischief, in part, as follows:
(A) No person shall:
(1) Without privilege to do so, knowingly move, deface, damage, destroy, or otherwise improperly tamper with the property of another;
(2) With purpose to interfere with the use or enjoyment of property of another, employ a tear gas device, stink bomb, smoke generator, or other device releasing a substance that is harmful or offensive to persons exposed or that tends to cause public alarm;
They're probably saying that, by leaving the cigarettes in the bathroom, she was improperly tampering with the property of another (since the courthouse bathroom is public property). They could also be saying that the cigarettes are "harmful or offensive to persons exposed," but I don't think that really fits the facts. In some states, just the act of entering a public restroom intended for use by the opposite gender may be considered criminal mischief.
In order to prosecute her, the DA will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that all of the elements of the statute are met. That means that they'll have to tell her exactly what they are alleging. If the evidence doesn't fit the facts, they won't be able to prove their case, and she may be able to get it dismissed.
Criminal mischief is a misdemeanor
of the third degree, which means it's punishable by up to 60 days in jail, plus a fine of up to $500. When she goes to the initial court date, if the DA has any intention of asking for jail time, he will have to say so. At that point, if your daughter cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for her. The lawyer will be able to look at all of the evidence to see if there's any basis for challenging the charges.