How Is Vandalism Handled in Rhode Island?

Vandalizing a building could result in up to one thousand in fines, as well as spending up to one year in prison. The offender may also be ordered to repay the owner of the damaged property for the cost of repair or replacement.

Another common punishment is completing up to one hundred hours of community service for first time offenders. Defendants with a prior will have to complete up to two hundred hours of the same.

This crime is described as willfully defacing or damaging a property. While this is occasionally seen as art in settings like NYC subways and other venues, if the perpetrator is caught, they will be arrested.

Did you also know that vandalism goes beyond the marring of physical buildings? If someone ruins notes or bills, or has painted out a stop sign for instance, this is also considered to be vandalism.

Top Defenses for Vandalism

Vandalism is a misdemeanor offense, and it stays on an offender’s criminal records, which may actually ruin their chances of receiving gainful employment. Some of the options for defense include:

  • Plea bargaining the case to avoid jail time or lower the fines
  • Exonerating the case and proving a defendant’s innocence
  • Expunging a past offender’s criminal record

Applicants for expungement should note that in order for this motion to be approved, all the terms of his or her sentencing must have been met, which includes victim restitution paid in full, the community service completed, and the jail time served if applicable.

Are you facing charges for vandalism in Rhode Island? If so, contact the RI criminal defense attorneys at 401-272-4001.