Can I Go to Jail for Keying a Car?

Property vandalism is a crime, and cars are property. What does this mean for someone who got revenge by taking a key to their ex-friend’s ride? It means legal consequences, and even possible jail time. Continue reading to learn how both state and federal law governs and penalizes car vandalism, as well as, what you need to do if you are suspected of a similar crime in Indianapolis.

Indianapolis Vandalism Lawyer 317-636-7514
Indianapolis Vandalism Lawyer 317-636-7514

Keying a Car

Whether your boyfriend was caught having dinner with another woman, or you had a revenge plan against a pal who betrayed you, keying their car is not the right way to get back at them for their moral crimes. Why? Well, you could face some pretty strict consequences if you are caught and prosecuted.

To make matters more risky, even if your friend does not wish to press charges against you, the state still might. Vandalism comes in many forms, but regardless, all forms are illegal, and categorized under “Criminal Mischief” under Indiana Code. The offense is also referred to as “criminal damage”, “malicious trespass”, or “malicious mischief.”

Below, you will find the standard levels of offenses and their subsequent penalties for vandalism in Indiana.

⚖ Criminal Mischief (Vandalism)

Indiana Code § 35-43-1-2: “A person who recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally damages or defaces property of another person without the other person’s consent commits criminal mischief.”

Less Than $750 in Total Damages = Class B Misdemeanor – Up to 180 days in jail – Up to a $1,000 fine;

$750 – $50,000 = Class A Misdemeanor – Up to 1 year in jail – Up to a $5,000 fine;

More Than $50,000 = Level 6 Felony – Between 6 months and 2.5 years in jail – Up to a $10,000 fine;

Also a Level 6 Felony if damage causes substantial impairment of service to the public, done to a public record, or to a law enforcement animal (35-46-3-4.5)

Facing Vandalism Charges in Indianapolis?

If you vandalized property, whether a car or something else, the state has two years to file charges against you. Furthermore, you can also face a civil lawsuit brought on by the victim of the vandalism in order for them to recover additional compensation for their property damages. If you were caught, or have been suspected of, vandalism within the past two years, it would be wise to hire a seasoned criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to avoid the maximum penalties for your vandalism charges in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Contact the Law Office of David E. Lewis at 317-636-7514 to schedule a free initial consultation and case evaluation. During this meeting, which is free of charge, you have the opportunity to sit down with a skilled Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer and discuss your Indiana criminal charges and the best strategies for your defense, whether on a state or federal level. Get started as soon as today!

Criminal Defense Lawyer Indianapolis IN
Criminal Defense Lawyer 317-636-7514
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