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Articles Posted in Criminal Mischief

In some instances, people can be charged with violent crimes against other individuals even if they only intend to destroy property. The State must nonetheless prove each element of the charged offense, though; otherwise, a defendant should not be convicted, and any conviction based on insufficient evidence should not be upheld. Recently, a Florida court issued an opinion explaining the evidence needed to establish guilt for assault and criminal mischief in a case in which the defendant was charged with multiple crimes after attacking a postal vehicle. If you are accused of assault or any other violent crime, it is advisable to meet with a trusted Florida criminal defense attorney regarding your rights.

The Alleged Attack

It is reported that the victim was sitting in the driver’s seat of a postal truck when the defendant suddenly struck the truck with a two by four plank. The victim was sorting mail at the time of the initial impact and heard a loud crash. He then looked up and saw the defendant striking the truck a second time with the plank. The victim began to drive the truck away, at which point the defendant hit the truck with the plank again. When the victim reached a safe distance, he called 911. The defendant was ultimately detained and charged with first-degree misdemeanor criminal mischief, aggravated assault, and other offenses. He moved for acquittal on the charges of assault and criminal mischief, but his motion was denied, and he was convicted. He then appealed.

Evidence Needed to Convict a Defendant for Aggravated Assault and Criminal Mischief

On appeal, the court affirmed the defendant’s conviction for aggravated assault. The court was not persuaded by the defendant’s argument that the State failed to prove that he committed an act that was significantly likely to place the victim in fear of imminent violence. Instead, the court found that when viewing the evidence in a light most favorable to the State, it sufficiently demonstrated that the defendant knew that the victim was in the truck. Specifically, he hit the truck three times near the driver’s side door, and the third hit occurred after the truck had moved forward. Continue reading ›

In some instances, a court will sentence a defendant convicted of a crime to probation rather than ordering the person to serve a term in prison. If a defendant violates probation by committing a crime, however, the probation may be revoked, and a stricter penalty may be imposed. As in other criminal matters, the State must prove each element of the offense that allegedly constituted a violation in order for the defendant to be deemed guilty. Recently, a Florida court set forth an opinion discussing what the State must establish in order to prove a defendant committed criminal mischief in a case in which it was the basis for the revocation of the defendant’s probation. If you are accused of criminal mischief, it is prudent to retain a knowledgeable Florida criminal defense attorney to assist you in asserting a defense.

Factual and Procedural History

It is alleged that the defendant was convicted of multiple crimes, after which he was sentenced to probation. One of the conditions of his probation was that he was to live without violating the law. The condition stated that it was not necessary for a conviction to be obtained for a criminal violation to be considered a violation of his probation. While the defendant was on probation, he was accused of violating the conditions imposed on him by engaging in criminal mischief and other activities.

Reportedly, the violation accusations arose out of an altercation with his ex-girlfriend in which a vase broke. A hearing was held, after which it was determined that the defendant committed criminal mischief and other offenses. Thus, his probation was revoked. The defendant appealed, arguing the trial court failed to demonstrate he committed criminal mischief.

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