Mischief Charges


Defending Against Criminal Mischief Charges in Ontario

Graffiti Lawyer HamiltonKaley Hepburn, an experienced criminal defense lawyer, has been representing individuals accused of mischief in criminal courts across Ontario for more than 10 years. While "mischief" may sound minor, it is a criminal offense under the Canadian Criminal Code with potentially serious consequences.

What Does Being Charged with Mischief Mean?

Mischief encompasses various acts outlined in the Criminal Code, with the most common being related to property. This offense occurs when someone intentionally destroys or damages property, renders it dangerous, useless, or interferes with its lawful use or operation.

To prove mischief, the Crown must demonstrate that the accused's actions either temporarily or permanently impaired the property's intended purpose, usefulness, or value.

Examples of Mischief:

  • Damaging private or public property
  • Committing acts of vandalism

If you are the sole owner of the damaged property, you cannot be convicted of mischief. However, if the property is jointly owned, you may face charges and potential conviction.

What Defenses Exist?

Identity may be an issue in some mischief cases, as the Crown Attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were responsible for damaging or obstructing another person's property. Mischief related to property is a general intent offense, meaning specific intent is not required. Intoxication is not a defense, but the prosecution must prove that you intentionally or recklessly damaged, destroyed, obstructed, or interfered with someone else's property.

Penalties for Mischief Convictions

The penalty for a mischief conviction depends on various factors such as whether bodily harm was caused, the nature and value of the property involved, and the motive behind the offense. If the offense endangers another person's life, the maximum penalty is life imprisonment. For property damage exceeding $5,000, the maximum penalty is 10 years if prosecuted by indictment or 6 months and/or a $5,000 fine if prosecuted summarily.

In some cases involving minor property damage, we may negotiate with the Crown to withdraw the charges if you agree to reimburse the property owner for the damages. 

What Should I Do If Charged with Mischief?

Contact a criminal defense lawyer. Although mischief is not considered a serious offense, an experienced lawyer can significantly impact the outcome of your case. They may be able to resolve it without a criminal conviction or record.

If you are facing mischief charges, seek legal assistance immediately to protect your rights and ensure a strong defense. Call Kaley Hepburn at (289) 780-1060 for a free consultation and expert advice tailored to your case.

Facing Mischief Charges?

If you are facing criminal charges, Kaley Hepburn, an experienced criminal lawyer, will vigorously defend you. With a proven track record of representing individuals charged with criminal offenses across southern Ontario, including Hamilton, Burlington, Brantford, Oakville, Ancaster, and Stoney Creek, Kaley Hepburn is well-equipped to handle your case.

The consequences of a criminal record can be significant and long-lasting. Contact us today to discuss your situation.

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