What It Means If Your Child Is Charged With Criminal Mischief in Ohio

Published 06/30/16 by Admin

Most children at some point in their life are bound to get into a little bit of trouble; it’s only natural. Whether it’s pulling a funny prank and getting in trouble with their parents or doing something stupid with their friends, most parents expect that their child is going to get into mischief. What a lot of parents may not know though is that there is such a thing as criminal mischief and the consequences for a child who is found guilty of criminal mischief can be very serious.

Before continuing, it is important that you as the reader understand that this blog should not be construed as legal advice, but rather is a basic summary of when our actions and conduct becomes disorderly conduct in the eyes of the law. For actual legal advice, a person who is facing a disorderly conduct charge should consult an attorney for accurate and up-to-date information.

You may be asking yourself, what is criminal mischief? If you do find yourself wondering that, you’re not alone in this question because you are definitely not the only person who may never have heard of criminal mischief. Simply put, criminal mischief covers a large area of offenses that a person may commit against another person. This includes, but is not limited to vandalism, hacking, lighting fires on somebody else’s property, and tampering with safety devices that are used to protect others. If an aircraft or any kind of device associated with the operation of an aircraft is involved, then the punishments are much more severe.

If your child has ever let off a stink bomb or a smoke bomb in a public place, including their school or their neighbor’s property, then your child has committed the offense of criminal mischief. If your child has destroyed a mailbox or spray painted the side of a building, they have committed the offense of criminal mischief. If you, the reader, have ever tampered with your neighbor’s survey spikes or any other kind of tool used to mark and identify their land, then you have committed the offense of criminal mischief.

The consequences for a criminal mischief charge usually include a fine and a possible jail sentence, but can vary in their severity depending on the specific act that brought about the charge. It is important to understand that an adult whose child has been charged with criminal mischief can suffer the consequences of their child’s actions as well. It is possible that a child charged with criminal mischief will face a sentence in juvenile detention, but the parent of the child may be responsible for paying the damages to the individual who suffers from the child’s act.

For example, if you have a child who spray paints the side of your neighbor’s house and destroys their mailbox with a baseball bat, then your child has committed the offense of criminal mischief. They will likely have a hearing or trial where they will be charged. The child could face a possible sentence of time in a juvenile detention center for his or her actions. Almost always though there will be a fine or damages that will have to be paid to help cover the costs of repairs to the neighbor’s mailbox and the side of their house. As the parent of the child who committed criminal mischief, you will likely be responsible for paying these damages and fines because your child is a juvenile. Therefore, your child has made you equally responsible for their actions.

By understanding what criminal mischief is and what the potential consequences are, a parent becomes aware of the effect their child’s actions can have, not only on themselves but on the parents as well. An aware parent is a prepared parent and a prepared parent can help prevent their child from making a life-changing mistake that can have a significant impact on their future.