Earlier this week, approximately 30 vehicles were vandalized on the Southside of Jacksonville in an apartment complex parking lot. Channel 4 News of Jacksonville interviewed some of the residents that live in the Preserves at Paradise Island about the damage to their vehicles:
“Kyle Hansen said he’s been on the phone with his insurance, but right now it’s looking like the damage could cost him about $300 out of pocket. He’s just glad nothing was stolen from his car…. Some of the car windows appeared to be shot with a BB gun. Others were possibly struck with a hammer. Kyle Whistle is also cleaning up the mess. Police knocked on his door about 2:30 a.m. to tell him his SUV was vandalized. He said the crime seems random.”
This Jacksonville news station also reported that nothing was stolen from the vehicles, so this is not a case of Florida burglary. We are also not looking at a Jacksonville grand theft auto case, as none of the cars were stolen. Instead, the police will be looking to make an arrest for criminal mischief. The Florida criminal mischief law is Section 806.13. This law applies to vandalizing another person’s property. Criminal mischief may be a felony or misdemeanor depending on the damage to the property. Florida Statute Section 806.13 states:
(1)(a) A person commits the offense of criminal mischief if he or she willfully and maliciously injures or damages by any means any real or personal property belonging to another, including, but not limited to, the placement of graffiti thereon or other acts of vandalism thereto.
(b)1. If the damage to such property is $200 or less, it is a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
2. If the damage to such property is greater than $200 but less than $1,000, it is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
3. If the damage is $1,000 or greater, or if there is interruption or impairment of a business operation or public communication, transportation, supply of water, gas or power, or other public service which costs $1,000 or more in labor and supplies to restore, it is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
4. If the person has one or more previous convictions for violating this subsection, the offense under subparagraph 1. or subparagraph 2. for which the person is charged shall be reclassified as a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
The Jacksonville news article did not state that the police had anyone in custody in reference to this Southside criminal mischief case, so I am assuming they are searching for suspects. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office likely has detectives on the case that will interview potential witnesses and suspects. As with all criminal cases, a suspect that is in custody has the right to have a Jacksonville criminal lawyer present. There is nothing wrong with speaking to a Jacksonville criminal attorney before speaking to police. If you are being investigated for a crime and would like to talk to a lawyer about your case, contact 20 Miles Law at (904) 564-2525.