Malicious Mischief in Oklahoma
Malicious mischief is the damage or destruction of someone else’s property. This crime covers a broad range of activities, including:
- Keying a car
- Painting graffiti
- Removing or defacing signs
- Obstructing roads or driveways
While it may conjure images of petty youthful misconduct, malicious mischief is a serious offense that carries significant consequences in Oklahoma.
Under Oklahoma law, a person is guilty of malicious mischief if he or she
maliciously injures, defaces, or destroys the real or personal property of another. Criminal mischief does not occur if the damage was caused accidentally. For instance, if you unintentionally jumped the curb and hit a mailbox with your car, you would not be charged with malicious mischief. Alternatively, if you purposely destroyed the mailbox to upset the owner, charges could be filed.
When prosecuted for malicious mischief, you may be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony based on the specific facts of your case. Generally, criminal mischief is a misdemeanor if the total damage is less than $1000. But the offense will be elevated to a felony in one of two circumstances:
- The total damage is $1000 or more
- You have two or more prior convictions for criminal mischief
In addition to criminal penalties, you may face civil action from the property owner, which can result in severe financial repercussions. Oklahoma permits courts to triple the amount of actual damages a property owner will receive as compensation, increasing your liability exponentially.