Mischief is interference with someone’s property causing damage. Property can be something moveable such as a laptop, television, or a car; or, immoveable such as, a house. The Criminal Code of Canada (“Criminal Code”) also sets out an offence of mischief related to electronic/ computer data (S. 430 (1.1)). Examples of what qualifies as Mischief are: tagging; graffiti; vandalism of public property; damaging public or private property (arson, breaking windows); or, damaging a motor vehicle (such as breaking the windshield or slashing tires). Mischief is broken down into two offences: (1) Mischief Over $5,000; and (2) Mischief Under $5,000.
Mischief Offence Lawyer in Milton
Criminal Code of Canada: Mischief
1.430 of the Criminal Code sets out the offence of Mischief as:
1.430 “Every one commits mischief who wilfully
- Destroys or damages property;
- Renders property dangerous, useless, inoperative or ineffective;
- Obstructs, interrupts or interferes with the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property or;
- Obstructs, interrupts or interferes with any person in the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property.”
What Does Property Include?
Property includes real or personal property of every description. S. 2 of the Criminal Code states that property encompasses “deeds and instruments relating to or evidencing the title or right to property, property originally in the possession or under the control of any person, and property into or for which it has been converted or exchanged and anything acquired at any time by the conversion or exchange.”
What if the Damage was Caused Accidentally?
Accidental damage to property is a legitimate defence. Accidental acts do not constitute the offence as the Criminal Code states that the mischief must be wilful. A wilful act is defined as: causing an event by an act, or, failing to act if one is under a duty to do so. Knowledge or recklessness as to the fact that the act or failure to act will cause the event to occur, also meets the threshold of a wilful act.
What if my Mischief Charge is Associated with a Domestic Incident?
Generally speaking, a person will not be charged for Mischief relating to his or her own personal property. The sole owner of the property is free to keep, use, and dispose of that property as he or she sees fit. However, in the context of a relationship, property that is jointly owned can result in a Mischief charge. This is because the value, benefit, and use of the property is jointly shared between partners. To learn more, click here for additional information regarding domestic assault charges and how we at Passi & Patel can help.
Why Retain Passi & Patel?
If you, a friend or a loved one, are charged with Mischief, this must be taken seriously. We at Passi & Patel, understand the very significant consequences and long-term repercussions that may follow a conviction for Mischief related offences. Mischief is a hybrid offence; thus, the Crown Attorney can elect to try the accused either summarily or indictment. The penalty will be increased if the property destroyed was cultural, educational or religious. Restitution could also be imposed upon conviction or as part of a resolution reached between counsel for the accused and the Crown Attorney. Restitution is a monetary amount that reflects the value to replace or restore the property that was interfered with.
It is beneficial to consult with experienced criminal defence lawyers upon being charged with Mischief. Hiring a skilled lawyer can make a significant difference in the way in which the matter will proceed through the courts.
Contact Passi & Patel Criminal Lawyers today to get the process started with a no obligation consultation.
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