Our Criminal Mischief Defense Lawyer Fights for You
Criminal mischief charges are taken seriously in Kentucky, and consequences can be severe. Depending on the situation, criminal mischief can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony, and a conviction could lead to heavy fines and jail.
In addition, you will have a criminal record that can negatively impact your professional and personal life, including your education and employment, your family relationships, your housing situation, and any immigration benefits.
Do not ruin your future by attempting to fight misdemeanor charges without proper legal representation. If you or a loved one was arrested for a misdemeanor charge, having a Kentucky criminal mischief defense lawyer on your side can make a big difference in the outcome of your case.
Based in Lexington, criminal defense attorney Dan Carman represents clients facing criminal mischief charges throughout the state. He is dedicated to building the best possible defense for every client based on the unique circumstances of each case.
Dan has wide-ranging experience from serving in the United States Marine Corps as defense counsel, prosecutor, legal assistant attorney, and in-house counsel for an infantry battalion. This experience gives him valuable insight into both sides of the legal process, which can benefit those charged with crimes. He knows how the Kentucky criminal justice system operates and will properly handle your case every step of the way.
Why Choose Our Lexington Criminal Mischief Lawyers
There are many attorneys in Kentucky, and you need to find one that you feel comfortable with but who also has experience helping fight criminal charges. Here are some reasons why we think Dan Carman is your best choice:
- We are experienced and bilingual. Attorney Dan Carman speaks Spanish and has accommodated speakers of other languages as well.
- We are recognized in our field. Dan Carman is a member of various local and national Bar Associations and has previously been named in the Top 100 Trial Lawyers and Top 40 Under 40 by the National Trial Lawyers. Mr. Carman has served as a law clerk for judges and as a judge advocate in the United States Marine Corps. He also worked as a prosecutor and a legal assistance attorney, so he knows the prosecutors, the courts and the system and how prosecutors think and operate.
- We are local. With an office in Lexington, KY, our attorneys are well-positioned to provide engaged, personalized legal services.
- We are available 24/7 for client emergencies.
Our legal team understands that people accused of a crime may feel vulnerable and unsure of what to do. Dan Carman knows the prosecutors, courts and system, and can take the burden off you by handling all legal hurdles and negotiations to get you the best outcome for your case.
WE ARE DEDICATED TO PROVIDING THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE LEVEL OF SERVICE
How Our Criminal Mischief Attorney Works to Help You
Everyone who works at Dan Carman— lawyers and support staff — shares our commitment to our clients. When you have our team on your side, we will:
- Meet with you to discuss your charges, and determine the best way to handle them
- Investigate your case and gather evidence such as from surveillance photos and videos, police reports and records, and interviews with witnesses
- Examine the facts of your arrest and look for flaws in the case and mistakes made by police and prosecutors
- Prepare you to go to court and prevent you from saying or doing anything that would hurt your case
- Make sure all forms are filed correctly and court appearances are made in a timely manner
- Negotiate and plea bargain for a lesser charge, such as dropping a felony to a misdemeanor, or having your case dismissed
- Take your case to court and litigate aggressively on your behalf
- File any appeals if necessary.
What is Criminal Mischief in Kentucky?
Criminal mischief crimes generally involve any type of damage to someone else’s property, including alteration, destruction, or defacement, or acts of vandalism. Examples include throwing a rock through a window of a neighbor’s house, kicking in a door on a rental property, spraying graffiti on a bridge, and slicing the tires on someone else’s car. Although it may seem like a relatively minor offense, a criminal mischief offense has the potential to endanger others and to interfere with public services.
Criminal mischief in Kentucky can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony, based on the dollar amount of damage that was allegedly done. The more costly the damage to the property, the greater the charge and the harsher the penalty, as follows:
- Criminal Mischief in the First Degree is a Class D felony. If the value of the damage is more than $1,000, it is considered a Class D felony. Such crimes are punishable by one to five years in jail and $10,000 in fines.
- Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree is a Class A misdemeanor. If the value of the damage is between $500 and $1,000, the charge would be second-degree criminal mischief, punishable by up to 12 months in jail.
- Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree is a Class B misdemeanor. Criminal mischief in the third degree, which involves less than $500 in damage, is punishable by a fine of $250 and up to 90 days in jail.
Defense of Criminal Mischief Charges
If you are questioned about property damage, call an attorney immediately. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can investigate the facts of your case, examine the appropriateness of the police investigation, and look for evidence that weakens the case against you. Perhaps you have been wrongfully accused and did not cause the alleged damage. Perhaps you did damage the property but did not do so intentionally.
Other possible defenses include:
- You reasonably believed that a property owner has consented to the destruction or defacement of the property, such as when the property is already damaged.
- There was a violation of your constitutional rights, such as the right to remain silent, the right to counsel, the right to have any searches and seizures based on probable cause, the right to a proper warrant, and the right to due process in the proper preservation of evidence.
- The cited value of damage to an item is not what it costs to repair or purchase it, so the charges should be reduced.
- There were flawed prosecutorial procedures, such as errors in crime scene investigation and reconstruction, bad procedures in collecting and preserving evidence, biased witnesses, or flawed photo lineups.
Dan Carman knows what to look for to build your defenses and will leave no stone unturned in the fight for justice and your freedom.
Lexington Criminal Mischief Defense Attorney Answers FAQS
You are bound to have questions and concerns when faced with criminal charges. Here are some answers to questions our clients often ask:
Does a conviction for criminal mischief stay on your record?
Yes, in Kentucky, when you are charged with a crime or convicted of a crime, that information stays on your criminal record indefinitely, even for misdemeanors. This can negatively impact you for the rest of your life.
Can a conviction for criminal mischief be expunged?
Yes, expungement is the legal process by which a person can completely remove an arrest, charge, and/or conviction from their criminal record. Our lawyer may be able to have your record expunged if this is your first expungement, unless multiple felony convictions were part of the same case and arose from the same conduct.
Do I need a lawyer for a misdemeanor criminal mischief charge?
While you can represent yourself for a misdemeanor criminal mischief charge, it is not in your best interests to do so. Even misdemeanor convictions can result in imprisonment, and our experienced criminal defense lawyer knows how to investigate your case and gather evidence to argue for reduced charges and a lighter sentence or to get your case dismissed entirely.
Is there a time limit for prosecuting criminal mischief charges?
That depends on whether your charge is a felony or misdemeanor. A misdemeanor may only be prosecuted within one year after it was committed, but there is no statute of limitations for prosecuting a felony.
When you have Dan Carman on your side, we will answer your questions and concerns all through the legal process.
Call Our Criminal Mischief Defense Lawyer in Lexington for Help
Whatever the reason you are charged with a crime, Lexington, KY, defense attorney Dan Carman understands that sometimes good people find themselves in bad situations. He will listen to your side carefully and help you make informed decisions regarding the best course of action. If you were charged with criminal mischief, you are facing jail time, fines, and a conviction on your record.