There are many different types of property crimes in Texas. Each type of crime then has its own categories. This is true of criminal mischief. This could be a misdemeanor or it could be a first-degree felony. The details of the crime play a huge role in the actual charge a person may face when going to court.
Understanding the different aspects of criminal mischief requires a review of the pertinent law. According to the Texas Constitution and Statutes, this property crime involves causing some type of damage to property without the permission of the owner of the property. It also requires intent to cause the harm and must result in a loss to the owner or someone else that is substantial.
Criminal mischief is a misdemeanor if the value of the loss is $2,500 or less. It also is a misdemeanor if it causes a loss to a third party or interrupts public water service. An accused individual may face class A, B or C charges, depending on the amount and type of loss.
State jail felony
The crime falls into this category if the property loss ranges between $2,500 and $30,000. It also includes any damage someone caused with an explosive or firearm, or if there was damage to a dam for flood control system or a fence that corrals livestock or game.
An individual may face felony charges in the first, second or third degree for criminal mischief resulting in damage over $30,000. In addition, the crime is a felony if it caused the death of horses, bison or cattle.
Keep in mind that criminal mischief can be almost anything that causes damage to property and may include tampering with it, destroying it or marking it in any way. The more severe the damage is, the more likely it is to result in a felony charge.