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Criminal Mischief Attorney - Utah Criminal Defense Attorney

Although a charge of "mischief" may sound insignificant, a Utah criminal mischief charge can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor, and can result in substantial jail or prison time. Stephen Howard is an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney who represents clients charged with criminal mischief and other crimes throughout the state. Based in Salt Lake City, he has successfully handled literally thousands of cases. When you are charged with a crime, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney with a record of getting real results. Contact us today for an initial consultation.

Elements of a Utah Criminal Mischief Charge

Utah Criminal Mischief Lawyer Salt LakeA Utah charge of criminal mischief most commonly involves intentional destruction or damage to "property of another" (vandalism). Broken windows, scratched car paint, and kicked-in doors are some of the more common kinds of damage involved in a Utah criminal mischief case. But accidental destruction of or damage to property is not sufficient to support a criminal mischief charge. The prosecuting attorney must be able to prove that the property damage or destruction was done intentionally.

While property damage forms the basis of most Utah criminal mischief charges, the Utah criminal code section on criminal mischief also covers matters that are only rarely the subject of criminal prosecution. These can include interfering with a public utility or communication system, acts that threaten human life or health, or even throwing a snowball at a car.

Consequences of a Conviction for Criminal Mischief in Utah

Consequences of Conviction - Utah Criminal Attorney Salt LakeThe level of a criminal mischief charge will usually depend on the cost or value of the damage done to the property. This means that the level of a Utah criminal mischief charge can range from the second degree felony level to a less serious class B misdemeanor. But even a class B misdemeanor charge is punishable by up to 180 days in jail. A second degree felony could result in a prison term of up to 15 years.

The damage cost/value to be used in determining the level of a criminal mischief charge is often that of the actual damage done, not the level of damage that was intended to be done by the defendant. In some cases, what may have been intended as a relatively harmless prank can result in serious felony charges.

Criminal mischief may also be considered a domestic violence ("DV") offense under some circumstances. While the addition of a "DV" tag to a criminal mischief charge does not alter the level of the offense or increase the maximum penalties, prosecuting attorneys often take DV cases more seriously than ordinary charges.

Choosing a Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer in Salt Lake City

If you are facing criminal charges, you need more than just a sales pitch. You need an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney on your side. Stephen Howard has successfully handled literally thousands of serious criminal cases during his career.

Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with Salt Lake City criminal defense attorney Stephen Howard.


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  • Criminal Defense Trial AttorneyNot Guilty - Client was charged with aggravated assault for alleged attack using broken bottle as a weapon. Despite the testimony of numerous prosecution witnesses, thorough defense investigation to support a self-defense claim resulted in acquittal by jury at trial.
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  • Utah Probation Attorney Released - Client absconded for more than 10 years from felony probation with Adult Probation and Parole. At an order to show cause hearing, prosecutor argued aggressively for prison. Based on effective mitigation efforts by the defense, the judge agreed to release client without further jail.
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Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, and Wasatch Counties, and all of Utah.

Attorney Stephen Howard practices as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC and Stephen W. Howard, PC.

Offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties
340 East 400 South, Suite 25, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
952 S. Main St., Suite A, Layton, UT 84041

Call now to arrange for a confidential initial consultation with an experienced and effective Utah criminal defense lawyer.

In Salt Lake City, call 801-449-1409.
In Davis County, call 801-923-4345.

Stephen W. Howard, PC

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