St. Johns County has had a string of property damage to vehicles. A FL Times Union article reported that someone “cut or punctured 101 tires on 28 vehicles in three Northwest St. Johns County neighborhoods.” The vandalisms occurred in “North Durbin Crossing, Aberdeen and the Julington Creek Plantation communities.” There were complaints from 17 different “homes in the three communities” about the property damage. The Jacksonville.com article further stated:
“Thirteen vehicles at eight residences were damaged in the 1600 block of Fenton Avenue, many of them with all four tires damaged, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Another 13 vehicles were attacked at seven homes in the 1700 block of Pennan Place, again the majority with all four tires damaged. One vehicle had three tires damaged in the 400 block of Chattan Way, while three more tires were cut on another vehicle in the 100 block of Mahogany Bay Drive.”
The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office believe that the total damage to the tires is approximately $22,000. At this time, the police do not have any suspects.
The person or people that are slashing tires in St. Johns County will be charged with a crime if they are caught. If you willfully damage the property of another person, this is a crime known as criminal mischief. Florida’s criminal mischief laws are found in Florida Statute 806.13. This law 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.
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.”
If a person is being investigated for this St. Johns County vandalism, he or she should speak to a Jacksonville criminal lawyer before talking to the police. If a person is arrested for criminal mischief, he or she should only talk to his Jacksonville criminal defense attorney about the case. I have seen property crimes that resulted in convictions due to confessions. For example, Jacksonville burglary cases are often proven, because the suspect confessed when being interrogated by police. It is best to only speak with your Jacksonville lawyer about your case.
The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office may be investigating an adult, teenager, or child. If a teen or child is being investigated, he or she could be charged with a Florida juvenile crime. Children have constitutional rights just like adults. They should speak with a Jacksonville juvenile lawyer before moving forward. If someone under the age of 18 is convicted of criminal mischief, the parents could be held responsible for paying for the damage.
If you need to speak with a Jacksonville criminal attorney about a criminal mischief case, contact 20 Miles Law at 904-564-2525.