If you are the victim of a property crime, the technical aspects of the law can be dizzying. Every state is different, and every district within the state can be different as well. Criminal mischief is taken very seriously in Florida; depending on the severity, an offender can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony.
If you have been victimized, it is important to find a public adjuster Miami Dade County trusts to work in your best interest. Let Your Insurance Attorney help make sure you get repaid what you are fully owed for your property damage.
A Breakdown of Statues
According to Florida Statues, in order for the act to be considered mischief, it has to be determined as ‘the willful and malicious cause of injury or damage, by any means, to any real or personal property belonging to another person.’
Any time any kind of criminal case is taken to court, the defense must prove their accusations beyond a reasonable doubt, and mischief is no exception. The defense must prove that the accused damaged the property, that the property belonged to the victim, and that the damage was done intentionally and maliciously.
Among other destructive acts, the following can be considered injury or damage to property:
Charging Criminal Mischief
Firstly, if you are the victim, you have to decide whether or not to press charges; obviously, this depends on the severity of damage and circumstances change on a case-by-case basis. If charges are filed, the charges will be determined by the amount of damage caused.
According to the Florida statutes, if the damages are $200 or less it is considered a second-degree misdemeanor typically resulting in sixty days in jail. If the damage is over $200 but under $1000, this is a first-degree misdemeanor and usually follows a sentence of up to a year in jail. For more extreme cases where the damage equals $1000 or more, this is considered a third-degree felony and can result in 3-5 years in prison.
In these cases, it is essential to find a public adjuster Miami can trust to help gauge the level of damage. They can help determine the cost of replacement or repair with your best interests in mind, not the insurance company.
Defenses to Know
The accused is entitled to a fair trial, and with that comes a good defense. Some questions need to be answered to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. For example, if the damage or injury happened accidentally, say, during an altercation, it was not malicious intent.
If the victim and the accused owned the damaged property, this could also make charging and trying the case difficult. If there are any extenuating circumstances to explain the accused behavior, it may be enough to dismiss or, at least, lessen the charges.
For example, if there was a justification for their actions that resulted in the damage or if they were trying to protect themselves when the damage occurred it might be enough to shed enough reasonable doubt to get it dismissed. Everything varies on a case-by-case basis, which is why it is essential to seek help as soon as possible.
Your Insurance Attorney
If you have been a victim of criminal mischief, call or visit Your Insurance Attorney to find out what your options are moving forward. Finding a public adjuster Miami Dade County trusts is essential to making sure you receive the level of justice you deserve for the damages to your property. Call today and get the guidance you need.