In Tennessee, someone who acts out of anger, damaging the property of another person may be accused of vandalism. The person’s anger may lead to their slashing the person’s tires. Causing damage so that the item is worth less may result in vandalism charges.
While vandalism may result in misdemeanor charges, if the damage is more severe, the state may charge the person with a felony.
Definition of vandalism
“Vandalism” occurs when someone intentionally damages the property of another person. If the person tries to help someone else to vandalize a retail establishment, they may be accused of vandalism. If they may benefit from the results of the crime, they may also be charged.
An individual who helps someone else after the vandalism has taken place may be charged as an accessory. If the person damages retail merchandise, they may also be charged with vandalism.
What are the penalties after a conviction for vandalism?
A criminal court may use the circumstances around the act of vandalism to decide on the penalties the person may face. For instance, if the damage was lower than $500, the charge may be a Class A misdemeanor. This may come with a one-year jail sentence and a fine of $2,500.
For damages between $500 and $1,000, the charge may be a Class E felony. The defendant may receive a sentence of up to six years in prison. Their fine may be $3,000.
More serious vandalism charges that result in damages between $10,000 and $60,000 may mean the defendant receives a sentence of up to 15 years in prison. They may be required to pay fines of $10,000.
Defendants need a defense attorney to help them
After being arrested and charged with a Class C felony, the defendant may want to find legal guidance. This advocate should understand all aspects of the criminal process and may be able to help the defendant avoid a more severe penalty.