Can I still be charged for criminal mischief even after I paid the damages?

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Can I still be charged for criminal mischief even after I paid the damages?

I went out and had too many drinks. I was very intoxicated. The father of my child decided to

kick me out of his home that night. He had my car keys and told me to sleep outside because I was drunk. Well, that obviously upsetted me. I broke his front door with a shovel and made a huge hole in it. Of course, he called the police and I was arrested. I went to jail, booked and released hours later. I went back the following week for court hearing and I was told there are no charges against me and I was free to go. His landlord gave me a bill for the door I broke, which was $282, including labor. I paid in cash the full amount. A year later, I found out I have a warrant for my arrest Criminal mischief 2 but I already paid for the damages that I caused. The father of my child and I were

getting along well for our daughter, however I came to find out that he is doing this because he wants to win custody of our daughter. It’s a huge mess. What can I do about it? Can I be charged and pay again?

Asked on March 30, 2019 under Criminal Law, Oregon

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Tje fact is that you committed a criminal act, so paying for the resulting damages does not absolve you of the crime. That having been said, the fact that you paid may well be veiwed favotably by the court which can take this into account when imposing your sentence. 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can be charged. Paying for the damage you do does not undo the criminal act you committed: vandalizing or destroying another's property. You cannot be absolved from a crime by paying for the damage; the criminal justice system is separate from any civil claims for compensation against you. So having paid for the door, while something the proscecutor or judge will likely take into account in your favor, does not prevent charges, or being fined or imprisoned (possible, but unlikely) for the crime)


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