Many of our Peterborough clients enter our office slightly unsure about the specifics of their mischief charge. In fact, many people in general have heard of mischief, but are rather uncertain about the complexities and various forms this charge carries with it. If you find yourself charged with mischief, our group of talented and experienced lawyers can help guide you through what this charge is exactly and then help create an individualized strategy of defence for you.
To commit mischief you must wilfully, destroy or damage property, render property useless, dangerous, inoperative or ineffective, or obstruct, interrupt or interfere with the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property. “Wilfully” in this definition means that you did the act of mischief knowing that the act would probably cause the destruction of the property. Damage to one’s own property for example can still count as mischief even if you have a partial interest in the property you destroyed or damaged. An example would be if you trashed your matrimonial home. If you have a total interest in the property, it can still count as mischief if you destroyed or damaged your property with an intent to defraud.
The penalty can be affected not only by the kind of conduct (what you did), but it can also be affected by what kind of property that was involved (what you did it to). For less serious acts of mischief, the maximum penalties could be upwards of six to eighteen months. For serious acts of mischief, the maximum sentences can range from two years to life imprisonment (25 years).
One possible defence to a charge of mischief could be that although you did damage the property, you never intended to do so. With all criminal offences, it is up to the Crown to prove that it was the accused who was responsible for the damage. Criminal charges require the Crown to prove the “mens rea” or the “mental element,” of the offence beyond a reasonable doubt.
At Aitken Robertson, our team of criminal lawyers represent clients charged within Peterborough and its surrounding regions and provide an initial 30-minute consultation completely free of charge. Our schedules are flexible on weekends and evenings to better accommodate your availability and travel is never billed.
I was very fortunate to have chosen Aitken Robertson for my case. I was facing a charge for damaging public property and he negotiated a plea which got me community service time. Much less than what I would have received otherwise. They had very reasonable payment terms which allowed me to pursue me case with confidence. Richard Aitken and all his staff were friendly and nice to deal with.” T.M.