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Is Vandalism a Felony in Ohio?

Damaging another person’s property is considered vandalism according to the Ohio Revised Code, Section 2909.05 (O.R.C. 2909.05). Prosecutors will consider the extent of the property damage when determining how to file charges. Unfortunately, in Ohio, all vandalism charges are considered felony vandalism.

At a minimum, if you are convicted of a felony vandalism crime in Ohio, you will face a fifth-degree felony and up to a year in jail, plus fines. Obviously, these charges must be taken seriously since the repercussions can be severe. If you are facing vandalism charges, reach out to the Cleveland vandalism defense lawyers at Patituce & Associates today.

When the value of the property or the damage you caused is $7,500 or more, you can be charged with a fourth-degree felony and face up to 18 months in jail. When the property or damage is worth $150,000 or more, you’ll likely face a third-degree felony count and up to five years in prison if convicted.

Contact our Cleveland vandalism defense attorneys at(440) 471-7784 for vandalism charge representation in Ohio.

Regardless of the situation surrounding your vandalism charges, Ohio courts take these cases very seriously. We understand you may have extenuating circumstances or a viable defense that could reduce or eliminate the charges currently pending against you.

At Patituce & Associates, we take the time to learn exactly what happened and why you are facing criminal felony vandalism charges. We can help you build a strong defense or negotiate a resolution that may avoid a felony conviction. Here is a quick explanation of some vandalism-related charges our skilled vandalism defense attorneys handle:

Vehicular Vandalism (O.R.C. 2909.09)

Cleveland Vandalism Defense Lawyer

Vehicular vandalism is a charge that doesn’t get a lot of sympathy for the accused. Almost everyone drives and can relate to the fear and danger of a sudden impediment in their way. Dropping objects onto a roadway or into the path of a vehicle or throwing objects at cars, trains, boats, or other vehicles is against the law in Ohio.

Cleveland prosecutors can charge you with vehicular vandalism at several grades, depending on the risks and injuries caused to another. At a, you’ll face a first-degree misdemeanor and a possible jail sentence of six months. If there is a risk of injury to others or property is damaged, the charge becomes a fourth-degree felony, with the potential for an 18-month sentence if you’re convicted.

If the conduct actually causes injuries, you will be charged with a third-degree felony and face up to five years in prison if convicted. If someone is seriously injured, you will be charged with a second-degree felony, which can put you in prison for up to eight years.

Interference with Operation of Train (O.R.C. 2909.10)

The Ohio statute O.R.C. 2909.10 covers several types of conduct. The base charge for activities like throwing objects at trains, climbing onto locomotives without permission, or delaying the operation of a locomotive is a first-degree misdemeanor, with a potential sentence of up to 180 days in jail if you are convicted.

If the train-related conduct causes physical harm to property or a substantial risk of harm to people, you can be charged with a fourth-degree felony and can be sentenced to as long as 18 months in jail if convicted. If a person is physically harmed by the conduct in question, the charge will be a third-degree felony with a sentence of up to five years in prison. If the injuries are serious, you could face a second-degree felony charge and can be imprisoned for as long as eight years upon conviction.

Railroad Grade Crossing Device Vandalism (O.R.C. 2909.101)

Ensuring that railroad crossings are well marked and that equipment like bells, lights, and gates are in working order is important for public safety. For that reason, prosecutors in Cleveland can charge people who damage or tamper with those devices with the crime of railroad-grade crossing device vandalism. As a base charge, it is a first-degree misdemeanor with a sentence of up to 6 months in jail upon conviction.

If a person is injured by railroad grade crossing device vandalism, you could face a third-degree felony charge and a sentence of up to 5 years in prison. If a person is seriously injured, you may be charged with a second-degree felony and face up to 8 years in prison.

Property Damage Charges in Ohio

Where property is damaged, or there is a substantial risk of harm to people, the charge becomes a fourth-degree felony, with 6 to 18 months of jail time possible. Keep in mind these are potential penalties that can be imposed when someone is convicted of a felony vandalism crime. Not all cases are resolved with a conviction. Talk to an experienced vandalism defense lawyer at Patituce & Associates to better understand your legal rights and potential case outcomes.

Ohio Vandalism Charges Against Minors

Joesph C patituce
Joseph C. Patituce, Cleveland Vandalism Attorney

The laws for vandalism charges apply equally to adults and juveniles alike. If a minor, who is an individual under the age of 18, allegedly commits the crime of vandalism, they will navigate the juvenile justice system. Reach out to a Cleveland criminal defense attorney to learn more about the juvenile justice system and what your minor can expect throughout the process.

Basically, the way that the court prosecutes the crime and handles a minor defendant will be different. In this system, the court has a much broader way of handling the offense than if an adult were accused of the same crime. Some of the types of penalties can include:

  • Restitution
  • Fines
  • Probation
  • Diversion
  • Detention

Don’t Try to Resolve Your Cleveland Felony Vandalism Charges on Your Own. Trust Patituce & Associates to Help

Your best chance at avoiding significant penalties for felony vandalism charges is to work with experienced Cleveland vandalism attorneys who know how to attack the evidence against you and get the best outcome possible. Don’t wait any longer, call Patituce & Associates, LLC today at(440) 471-7784 for your initial case consultation.

Patituce & Associates, LCC – Cleveland Office

600 Superior Avenue East,
Suite 1358
Cleveland, OH 44114