How do I get a charge of vandelism dropped?

While shortly separated from my husband of 23 yrs I went over to his apt and scratched the hood of his car with my key. Not the right thing to do – I know that. It was emotional and he didn’t press charges but the police took me in anyway. I was charged and have to go to court. What can we do to get this dropped. We are separated and trying to work things out but he has been emotionally jerking me around so I went to talk with him and let my emotions over run my logic. I have never ever done anything illegal before not even a traffic ticket. We have 3 young children.

Asked on June 30, 2009 under Criminal Law, California


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I would like to add so that you are aware, Vandalism falls under the California Penal Code Section 594.  If the value of the damage is greater than $400 then you can be charged with either a felony or misdemeanor.  You can face up to 1 year in jail and be fined up to $10,000.  If the value of the damage is less than $400 then it is considered a misdemeanor.  You can still face up to a year in jail but the fine is limited to $1,000. So do get a lawyer to help it go away.

N. K., Member, Iowa and Illinois Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You should have an attorney representing you. 

Whether you can get the charge dropped is best known by an attorney evaluating your case.

However, given that you have no prior record of criminal behavior, you have young children, and this was an emotional situation, the court may be lenient with you regarding punishment (for example, you may be given probation).

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