DC Criminal Defense Lawyer


Trespassing/ Destruction of Property

Although trespassing doesn’t sound like a serious charge—if you’re facing jail time, it’s serious. Even if you didn’t know you were breaking the law at the time, you can be convicted. And a criminal conviction can follow you for life.

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Property offenses like graffiti, destruction of property, and trespassing, are quite common. This doesn’t take away from the gravity of them, however. Having to own up to a conviction on lease and job applications can seriously hinder your efforts to maintain a good job and a nice place to live.

When you’re facing charges like these, a local defense attorney can help make sure your rights are being protected at every stage of the game. If you feel like no one is on your side—contact me today.

DC Graffiti/Defacement  Laws & Penalties

The offense of graffiti is pretty self explanatory. But this doesn’t just apply to spray painting on walls or marking up a fence. You could face this charge for keying a car or smearing mud over the property of another.

According to the law, this offense applies when writing, drawing figures, cutting, chipping, covering, painting, or marking on public property or the private property of another without their permission.

Generally this offense carries up to 180 days in jail and $1,000 in fines. You will also likely be required to perform community service and pay restitution if convicted of defacement or graffiti.

Ref: DC Code 22-3312.01

Washington DC Trespassing Laws and Penalties

Entering the property of another which you have no legal right to and refusing to leave at the direction of a lawful owner can get you charged with trespassing. It doesn’t matter if you were hunting on someone’s land, snooping around where you shouldn’t have been, or standing outside a building protesting.

Also, if you are present on property that is abandoned or marked with a “no trespassing”, “do not enter”, or other similar sign, you can be charged with this offense regardless of whether or not someone asked you to leave.

Depending on the circumstances of the case, you could be facing up to 6 months in jail and fines reaching $1,000 for this misdemeanor charge.

Ref: DC Code §22-3302

Malicious Burning/ Destruction of Property

The general destruction of someone else’s property or public property is charged under this statute. It can be a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the specifics of the case. If charged with felony destruction of property and this is your first run in with the law, there’s a chance we could get the charges reduced.

If you are accused of burning, injuring, destroying or attempting to do any of these things to someone else’s property, you could be facing serious criminal penalties.

In general, if the value of damage is greater than $200, you will face felony charges and up to 10 years in prison with fines reaching $5,000. If, however, the value of damage is less than $200, you will be charged with a misdemeanor and a potential 180 day jail sentence with $1,000 in fines.

Ref: DC Code §22-303

Property crimes like these can be just as serious as crimes involving other people. Although you might not have caused anyone physical harm, the loss of property is seen as a serious offense.

If you are facing charges like these and in need of a D.C. defense attorney, contact me today.

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