Street art is a beautiful thing, when it is done in the right places. You can’t just go show off your craft in random places and on whatever you want. If you do go and spray paint someone else’s property, you could face criminal charges for vandalism.

Vandalism charges simply mean that you defaced another person’s property. This could mean that you drew on something, knocked a hole into something or otherwise messed up someone’s stuff.

Some acts of vandalism might be mistakes. For example, if you are doing a street art project and misunderstand where it is supposed to be, you might be accused of vandalism.

In other cases, anger can lead to vandalism charges. An example of this is if you knock out the windows of a car after the owner makes you mad. Keying a car can also lead to these charges.

Even high school kids can commit vandalism. The ever-popular activities of egging a house, covering a house with toilet paper and knocking over mailboxes are all vandalism. In fact, you could face federal charges if you deface a mailbox because those are covered under a federal law.

The penalties for vandalism range from having to pay fines and restitution to having to spend time in jail. You might be responsible for fixing or replacing the property. Community service and probation are also possible in these cases.

You need to think carefully about how you will present your defense in these cases. Learn about the options that you have so that you can determine what you are going to do.

Source: FindLaw, “Vandalism,” accessed Aug. 03, 2017