Vandalism and property damage occur when a teenager intentionally damages property that belongs to another. In the state of Alabama, juvenile vandalism or vandalism that is performed by an individual under the age of eighteen is treated as different matter. The state of Alabama particularly criminalizes the act of vandalism. There are no separate laws in the state of Alabama differentiating between vandalism and teen vandalism. Individuals under the age of eighteen who commit vandalism in Birmingham often proceed through the juvenile justice system. In the juvenile justice system, the opposing side must demonstrate that vandalism occurred in the same way and to the same degree as the party would in an adult court. Juvenile courts, however, deal with vandalism in a precise way.
What Comprises Vandalism In Birmingham
Common mischief is a legal term in the state of Alabama that includes vandalism. Vandalism and other types of property damage include various offenses, which include the following: defacing property with one's names, breaking windows, and puncturing a vehicle's tires. “Destruction of property” crimes are different from vandalism in the sense that these crimes often involve more substantial property damage.
A vandalism charge is comprised of several elements which include: physical damage that tends to not destroy property so much as permanently deface the property, property that is owned by or possessed by someone else, and an act that was intentionally committed.
Defenses To Teenage Vandalism Charges in Birmingham
There are several ways that an experienced criminal defense attorney can help a juvenile respond to vandalism charges.
One potential defense is arguing that any property damage that occurred was the result of an accident that occurred without any intent on the part of the juvenile. After all, there are many situations in which property damage occurs due to negligence rather than vandalism. Also, in many cases individuals become involved in fights where property damage occurred but these individuals did not intend to damage any property making a vandalism charge impossible.
Juveniles who are also able to argue that the juvenile owned the alleged damaged property are also able to avoid a charge of vandalism.
Lastly, if an individual is able to argue that any other legal justification existed for the individual's conduct then the individual will be likely to create a strong defense.
Potential Penalties Faced By Juveniles In Birmingham Who Committed Vandalism
In the state of Alabama, criminal mischief is considered a felony if the damages exceed $2,500 or are inflicted by means of an explosion. If these requirements are not met then criminal mischief in the state of Alabama is treated either a Class A or Class B misdemeanor.
In addition to fines and detention, juveniles in Birmingham who are charged with vandalism can also face permanent criminal records. These records may subsequently provide obstacle in a child's future including both educational and occupational choices.
How An Experienced Birmingham Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
When teenagers are faced with vandalism related crimes, it frequently becomes essential to consult with an experienced Birmingham criminal defense attorney. It is important to understand that juvenile courts in the state of Alabama have wide discretion in determining how to penalize a juvenile offender so it often necessary to retain legal counsel who will know how to present the possible legal defense. A talented Birmingham criminal defense attorney at Eversole Law LLC knows how to help clients navigate through various issues and reach the best potential outcome.