Toronto Mischief Lawyer

Mischief is an offence which is defined in section 430 of the Criminal Code of Canada.  The crime of mischief involves the interference of damage to someone else’s property without the intention to steal.  Under section 430 (1), mischief is committed when an individual:

1.  destroys or damages property;
2.  renders property dangerous, useless, inoperative or ineffective;
3.  obstructs, interupts or interferes with the lawful use, enjoyment or occupation of property;
4.  obstructs, interupts or interferes with with any person in the lawful use, enjoment or occupation of property.

Mischief is not necessarily established when an individual damages his or her own property.  The crown must prove that the accused committed any of the prohibited acts in section 430 (1) and that the accused committed the act wilfully or was reckless in this regard.

The decision to lay a Mischief Under $5,000 or a Mischief Over $5,000 charge depends on the quantum of the property damage.  Mischief Under $5,000 is a hybrid offence, punishable by a maximum of two years imprisonment if the crown proceeds by indictment.  Mischief Over $5,000 is also a hybrid offence (giving the crown the option to proceed summarily, resulting in lesser penalties) punishable by a maximum of ten years imprisonment if the crown elects to proceed by indictment.  If an accused person is convicted of causing mischief which causes actual danger to life, he/she faces a maximum term of life in prison.

Section 429 (2) of the Criminal Code of Canada provides a statutory defence to mischief by stipulating that one who acts with a legal justification or excuse and with colour of right shall not be convicted.  If the mischief was the result of an accident, you may have a defence to the charge(s).

If you or a friend have been charged with mischief under $5,000 or mischief over $5,000 and you are seeking professional represention, call Toronto mischief lawyer Michael P. Juskey at 416-428-2760 for a free consultation to discuss your options.  The firm has a successful track record defending mischief charges in the pretrial stage as well as at trial.  Know your rights and fight the charges.     


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