How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ray Your Own Question
Ray
Ray, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 42169
Experience:  30 years in civil, probate, real estate, elder law
8534270
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Ray is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I was charged with felony vandalism yesterday and would like

Customer Question

Hi I was charged with felony vandalism yesterday and would like to talk with a lawyer to get a better idea of my options
JA: What state is this in? And can you tell me a little more about the charge?
Customer: CA, It was at the university of california santa cruz and a friend and I were pulled over by campus police after they received reports of two white males hitting parking meters with a sledge hammer and there was a sledgehammer in my truck bed
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: we were arrested and booked in the santa cruz county jail
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: is there anything else I should include?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ray replied 10 months ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.Please bear with me a few moments while I review your question and respond.

Expert:  Ray replied 10 months ago.

Vandalism damages of $400 or more – California Penal Code 594(b)(1)

If the monetary damage to restore the property due to vandalism is four hundred dollars ($400) or more, the defendant can be convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony. The prosecution has discretion on whether they charge the crime as a misdemeanor or a felony.

A misdemeanor conviction of vandalism can result in imprisonment for up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or both fine and imprisonment.

A felony conviction of vandalism can result in imprisonment for up to three years in state prison and a fine of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or both fine and imprisonment.

If the damage from vandalism is ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more, the fine can increase to fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).

Expert:  Ray replied 10 months ago.

Loss of Driver’s License – California Vehicle Code 13202.6

Vandalism punishment and sentencing in California is severe

Upon a conviction for vandalism of a defendant who is 13 years of age or older, the court shall suspend the defendant’s driver’s license for up to two years. If the defendant is not eligible to drive at the time of the conviction, the court shall suspend the issuance of the driver’s license, once the defendant is eligible, for 1-3 years. The only exception to this suspension would be if the court finds that suspending the defendant’s driving privilege would result in personal or family hardship.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Did you need what I wrote?
Expert:  Ray replied 10 months ago.

At the best here lawyer might be able to reduce this to a misdemeanor, if it is a felony here then the time and fines go up significantly.If your record here is clear then felony /misdemeanor probation, fines, suspension of your license.

Consider a local criminal lawyer if you can afford it because the suspension of license and the potential for jail or probation here.

You may also have some good facts if no one can identify you as the person that did this.The fact that you had the sledge doesn't mean you did the crime.

I appreciate the chance to help you tonight.Thanks again.

If you can positive rate 5 stars it is much appreciated.

Expert:  Ray replied 10 months ago.

If you have follow up please just ask.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
how to I go about figuring out wht evidence they have against me?
Expert:  Ray replied 10 months ago.

Your lawyer may be able to view the DAs file , if there is video he may get to see that.This is going to be hard if the other guy rolls over on you can and says you were there.Your lawyer can make a deal here maybe probation/fines, the license suspension is the real kicker.

This is known as a warbler--can be reduced to a misdemeanor or charge you as felony.You want this reduced.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
As i understand what makes this a felony is that the cost of damage was over $400. Would getting the felony reduced to a misdemeanor mean I would only have to pay $400? Also, do I need a lawyer to see the evidence against me or if I go to the DA/campus police and ask for the evidence will they provide it?
Expert:  Ray replied 10 months ago.

If it gets reduced here..A misdemeanor conviction of vandalism can result in imprisonment for up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or both fine and imprisonment.

So maybe a year of probation and up to $10k fine.

And of course the drivers license suspension.

This is pretty serious for you here, there is potential of jail .And I am going to be honest a judge is not going to be kind to you, you will need a lawyer to see what kind of deal can be made.