Most people experience road rage at some point in their lives. You might get angry at another driver for going too slow or too fast. Or, you might find yourself yelling or beeping your horn at other drivers on the road. This is oftentimes a natural and harmless expression, but it can turn dangerous. If you get into an altercation with another driver or damage another person’s property because of your anger, you could face a road rage charge.
If charged with road rage, you will likely also be charged with criminal mischief. There are four degrees of criminal mischief, and this crime can be considered serious. Below, I will discuss these degrees.
Criminal Mischief In The First Degree
This is the most serious of the degrees of criminal mischief. If you damage property that is worth $1,500 or more, you face first degree criminal mischief. This crime is a felony and carries a penalty of up to 5 years in jail and a fine of as much as $5,000.
Criminal Mischief In The Second Degree
Second degree criminal mischief occurs when a person damages property that is worth more than $250, but less than $1,500. This crime carries a jail sentence of up to one year as well as a fine of up to $2,000.
Criminal Mischief In The Third Degree
If you tamper with someone else’s property or cause damage to it, you can be charged with criminal mischief in the third degree. If convicted, you face a jail sentence of up to 6 months and a fine of up to $1,000.
Criminal Mischief In The Fourth Degree
This type of criminal mischief occurs when a person damages a fire alarm, smoke alarm, or a fire hydrant. In most cases, this not apply to road rage, unless a person damages a fire hydrant on the road. If charged with fourth degree criminal mischief, you face penalties. These penalties include a jail sentence of up to three months and a fine of up to $500.
To be convicted of criminal mischief, it must be proven that you deliberately intended to cause harm to another person’s property. You can’t be charged with road rage or criminal mischief if you cause an honest accident. If you did not intend to damage another person’s property. If you feel that you have been wrongly charged with criminal mischief or road rage, you should contact our office. Call us at 203-567-6474 as soon as possible.