Those who find themselves in the criminal justice system are often facing charges for drunk driving, drug and weapons charges, assault and other serious offenses. Misdemeanor crimes cover a broad range of offenses the South Carolina court system deems less serious. You might have heard the term “criminal mischief” if you have been charged with a lesser crime.
What exactly is criminal mischief? The word “mischief” may almost seem frivolous, but despite being a misdemeanor, criminal mischief is anything but lighthearted. As FindLaw explains, criminal mischief can cover a wide range of illegal activities. For example, you could face a charge for vandalism if you are caught painting graffiti on a wall or throwing rocks at the windows of a building you thought was abandoned. You might be charged with trespassing for going onto private property without permission, regardless of whether you knew you were not supposed to be there.
Activities that qualify as criminal mischief are often misdemeanor charges because the nature of the alleged crimes typically cause minimal damage. However, you may face more significant penalties if the actions you were accused of resulted in significant property damage or someone being harmed. For example, you and your friends may have known you were not supposed to be hunting on a farmer’s property, but you assumed the risk was minimal, but the farmer was accidentally shot when he went out to tell your group to leave the premises.
It is serious to be accused of a crime, even if it is a misdemeanor charge. Therefore, experienced counsel is necessary and this information is not meant as legal advice.