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What should you do if you're facing vandalism charges?

Vandalism is a serious crime that damages property that does not belong to you. It includes a range of crimes such as graffiti writing, egging vehicles, breaking windows or even destroying someone's webpage.

Vandalism has a number of potential penalties depending on the amount of damage caused. It's possible to go to jail, be fined or both if you're caught.

What should you do if you're accused of vandalism?

Start by talking to your attorney about the facts. Do you know who vandalized the property? Was it you or someone else? Be honest with your attorney, so he or she can protect you against the allegations. If you are innocent or were present but did not participate in the crime, there are ways to protect you against incrimination. A good defense goes a long way in vandalism cases.

After you speak with your attorney, remember that you may be let out of jail on bail or be monitored by the courts. Whatever happens, do not commit any additional crimes. If you do, it will only compound the damage being done to your reputation.

Finally, make sure you collect evidence and alibis. If you can show that you weren't present when vandalism occurred or have good character witnesses to speak on your behalf, you may have a better day in court than someone who does not have this information. Do everything you can to show the respect you have for the law.

Your attorney can help you prepare for court if you have to go to trial. There may be other options available as well, so it's best to get informed.

Source: FindLaw, "Vandalism," accessed Feb. 08, 2018

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