Michigan Vandalism Laws

Keying the side of a four-wheel drive, taking a Louisville slugger to the headlights, and slashing holes in the tires are great examples of vandalism used for catharsis that are perfect for song lyrics. However, in reality, if you engage in this behavior you could be facing charges for "malicious mischief," "criminal tampering," or if you're in Michigan, the charge would be for willful malicious destruction. All of these terms refer to the crime of vandalism, a property crime that involves the intentional destruction of another person's property.

Some of the lesser offenses of vandalism such as egging a car don't seem very serious, but if you're convicted of a vandalism crime in Michigan, you could be facing major consequences such as imprisonment and/or fines. Depending on the severity of the damage and the specific details in the situation, willful malicious destruction can either be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.

Michigan Vandalism Laws at a Glance

The chart below provides a summary of statutes related to Michigan's vandalism laws, including links to important code sections.

Statutes

  • Michigan Complied Laws 750.377a (Willful and malicious destruction of property )

Misdemeanor Willful and Malicious Destruction of Property

An individual who willfully and maliciously destroys or injures the personal property of another person is guilty of misdemeanor willful and malicious destruction of property if the following applies:

  • If the amount of the destruction or injury is less than $200, the individual is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days and/or a fine of not more than $500 or 3x the amount of the destruction or injury, whichever is greater.
  • The amounts of destruction or injury in separate incidents can be aggregated within any 12 month period in determining the total amount of the destruction/injury if it shows a common scheme or course of conduct.

Felony Willful and Malicious Destruction of Property

An individual who willfully and maliciously destroys or injures another person's property is guilty of this offense as a felony if any of the following apply:

  • If the amount of the destruction or injury is $20,000 or more, or
  • The individual destroys or damages property in the amount of $1,000 or more, but less than $20,000 and has 1 or more prior convictions for committing or attempting to commit this offense.

Related Offense

  • Fourth degree arson: Michigan Compiled Laws: 750.75

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Michigan Vandalism Laws: Related Resources

Have Questions about Vandalism? An Attorney Can Help

If you have run afoul of Michigan's vandalism laws, then you need to talk to an experienced attorney right away. A skilled attorney can help analyze your options and can put up a solid defense on your behalf. Take the first step by contacting a Michigan criminal defense attorney today.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

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