What is Juvenile Vandalism?
Juvenile vandalism is often defined as an intentional act of property damage, even if the action was not intended to damage the property. In the state of Florida, juvenile vandalism is one of the most common offenses committed by minors. Vandalism charges can impact a child’s ability to get accepted to a reputable college, get a job, and affect that child’s reputation for many years to come.
Vandalism Charges for Minors
Florida has not yet created a law to separate acts of vandalism committed by minors versus adults, so the same penalties can apply regardless of age.
The legal ramifications of juvenile vandalism depend on the severity of the property damage:
- For less than $200 in damages: up to a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail
- Damages between $200-$1000: up to a $1000 fine and up to one year in jail
- Damages greater than $1000: up to $5000 fine and up to five years in prison
However, most juvenile vandalism cases get sent through the juvenile court system, which means a judge can determine whether or not the child actually receives such harsh penalties. Alternative punishments that may be settled on include:
- The child may be required to pay restitution to the property owner.
- The child may be sentenced to juvenile probation for 12 or more months.
- Repeat offenders may be sentenced to time in a juvenile detention center.
Punishments for Graffiti
Florida has recently changed the statute system when it comes to juvenile vandalism in the form of graffiti and altered the penalties as such:
- First Offense – $250 fine
- Second Offense – $500 fine
- Third Offense – $1000 fine
Repeat offenders may also be subject to mandatory community service, restitution, or other forms of punishment that the judge deems necessary.
Has Your Child Been Arrested for Juvenile Vandalism? Call (954) 840-8713
If your child has been charged with vandalism, we can provide the right representation to protect your rights. Here at Hager & Schwartz, P.A., we work with you to find the right solution for your family’s case.