In Canada, mischief is considered a criminal offence, referring to the deliberate or reckless damage of someone’s property or the act of interfering with someone’s property. Mischief is usually a charge laid following an act of vandalism. It is a severe criminal offence under the Canadian Criminal Code, leading to a criminal record, fines, probation, and sometimes jail time, if not defended successfully in court. When charged with mischief, it’s best to get the services of an experienced Criminal Defence Lawyer to help you.
When Can You Be Charged With Mischief?
Usually, there are four situations where you can be found guilty of committing mischief:
- You have intentionally damaged someone else’s property
- You have left the property useless, inoperative, or ineffective
- You have interfered with the lawful usage of someone else’s property
- You have interfered with any individual in the legal use, possession, or operation of the property
What Needs To Be Proved For Successful Conviction?
For successful conviction, the Crown Prosecutor will need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- The person who committed the offence was indeed you;
- That you didn’t own the property which you interfered with or damaged;
- The condition of the asset before the crime was committed; and,
- There was some real damage done to the property or that you interfered with the asset in some real way
No matter how insignificant the damage might appear to be, as long as there was actual property damage and the Crown Prosecutor can show all offence elements, the court can and will convict you of mischief.
Even in the case of no substantial physical damage, you could still be convicted of mischief if it proved that there was some interference with the everyday use and possession of another person’s property.
For instance, the court can find you guilty of mischief if it can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt that you interfered with somebody’s quiet party by making excessive noise being their neighbour or having a large, disruptive party.
Facing Mischief Charges For Destroying Your Property
If you destroy your property with the intent to defraud, you may be charged with mischief. You may also be charged with mischief if you damage property jointly owned, like matrimonial property. Under cases where the property is co-owned or where another individual is interested in the damaged asset, the Crown is not required to prove an intent to defraud. Damaging or destroying property belonging to someone else is all that the Crown requires to charge you with mischief.
Penalties For Mischief In Canada
The exact nature of the penalty that you could face will depend heavily on your offence’s particular circumstances. In Canada, mischief is a hybrid offence – the Crown can choose to prosecute you by indictment or summary conviction.
In case of an indictment, if the value of the assets that you destroyed exceeds $5000.00, you could face as many as ten years in prison. For property damage less than $5000.00, you could face imprisonment not exceeding two years.
In the case of summary conviction, you could face up to 6 months in prison. Nevertheless, if you are found endangering life due to mischief, you could be liable for as long as life spent in jail.
About Slaferek Callihoo
Slaferek Callihoo is a trustworthy criminal defence agency based in Edmonton, Alberta. We offer expert legal defence against various criminal cases professionally. Visit our website to learn about our legal services or contact us for expert legal consultation.