FIRST OFFENDER? DEFEND MISCHIEF CHARGES IN NEWMARKET.  416-DEFENCE.

Donich Law regularly defends mischief offences including high-profile mischief allegations in York Region and across Ontario. Being charged with a criminal offence can be a troubling experience for anyone. Being charged with a serious offence like mischief can be even more upsetting. Donich Law represents a wide variety of clients charged with various mischief offences and regularly obtains positive results for our clients. With many first-time offenders, we have been able to resolve the charges without a criminal record for the client

In R. v. A.T. [2018], the Firm represented a client who was charged with disregard for human life and arson after allegedly burning down an apartment building, causing significant damage. After approximately two years of litigation, the Firm was able to successfully challenge the evidence regarding the origin of the fire and beat all the charges against the accused.

In 2017, the Firm secured the judicial interim release of “crane girl”, a young woman who climbed over 100 feet up a crane in Toronto and became stuck. After being rescued the woman was charged with six counts of mischief. Later in 2017, the Firm defended a schoolteacher charged with mischief after pulling a fire alarm and using a fire extinguisher inside a Toronto condo in R. v. A.W. [2017]. In that case, the accused’s actions caused over $5,000 in wasted Toronto Fire Service resources. The Firm was able to have the charges withdrawn after Crown negotiations.

In R. v. K.C. [2015], the Firm defended an individual charged with mischief after allegedly intentionally clogging a toilet inside a Toronto police station. In R. v. C.M. [2015], the Firm defended an accused charged with mischief after allegedly throwing water on slot machines at Woodbine Racetrack. The Firm was able to negotiate with the Crown to have the charges withdrawn.

In 2014, the Firm represented a young man who ran naked across the field in the middle of a Blue Jay’s Game and was arrested and charged with mischief. The Firm was able to negotiate with the Crown to have the charges withdrawn.

Being convicted of a mischief offence can lead to serious criminal sanctions as well as consequences in other aspects of an offender’s life. If you have been charged with mischief, Donich Law can assist you in developing the best defence for your case to ensure the best possible outcome.

Having a complete understanding of the Elements of the Criminal OffenceYour Rights and the Consequences associated with a Criminal Record is necessary before any legal decisions are made.

CP24: Sentencing Hearing for Chair Girl.

CP24: Woman rescued from Crane in Toronto released on Bail on April 28, 2017.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Mischief?
What is Domestic Mischief?
How does the Crown Prove Mischief in Newmarket?
What are the Consequences of a Mischief Conviction in York Region?
-Mischief Related to Property
-Mischief in Relation to War Memorials
-Mischief Related to Cultural Property
-Mischief Related to Religious Property or Educational Institutions
-Mischief in Relation to Computer Data
-Mischief Endangering Life 

Additional Resources

Assault
Assaulting a Peace Officer
Sexual Assault Law in Canada
Consequences of a Criminal Record
Domestic Abuse
First Offenders
Immigration Consequences
Keeping Charges Private
Travel & US Waivers
Vulnerable Sector Screening
Elements of a Crime
Your rights

What is Mischief?

Section 430(1) of the Criminal Code outlines the offence of mischief in relation to property. It states that the offence of mischief has been committed when an individual willfully damages or destroys property, renders property dangerous, useless, inoperable or ineffective, or interrupts or interferes with the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property. Further, section 430(1.1) of the Code states that an individual commits the offence of mischief in relation to computer data when they willfully alter computer data, render it meaningless, ineffective or useless, or obstruct, interrupt or interfere with the lawful use of computer data or with a person’s use of computer data or deny access to the person who is entitled to access the data.

What is Domestic Mischief?

Domestic mischief is mischief occurring in a domestic relationship. In Canada, there is no separate offence in the Criminal Code for domestic mischief. An individual who is alleged to have damaged property in a domestic relationship will be charged with mischief under section 430 of the Criminal Code.

An individual commits domestic mischief when they cause damage to property that is jointly owned by two parties in a domestic relationship. For example, an individual may be charged with domestic mischief for anything from punching a whole in a wall, to throwing a cell phone or damaging furniture inside a home that is jointly owned by a couple. In many cases, charges may be laid despite the complainant not wanting to proceed with charges against their partner. Once charges have been laid, only the Crown attorney can decide to drop the charges.

The fact that the mischief occurred in a domestic relationship will be an aggravating factor in the case. Further, Crown attorneys have specialized procedures in place to deal with offences occurring in domestic relationships. In many cases, those convicted of domestic mischief will face harsher penalties.

How does the Crown Prove Mischief?

As is the case with all criminal offences, to gain a conviction, the Crown must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, all elements of the criminal offence the accused has been charged with. To prove a mischief offence, the Crown must prove that the accused committed one of the offences in section 430 of the Criminal Code. The Crown must also prove the accused “willfully” committed the act. This means that they must prove that the accused intended to commit one of the acts in section 430. The Crown need not prove that the accused intended for the specific outcome that occurred. Rather, they must only prove that the accused intended to damage, interfere with, interrupt the use of, etc. the property in question.

What are the Consequences of a Mischief Conviction in York Region?

Being convicted of mischief can lead to very serious criminal sanctions. The penalties for those convicted of mischief related offences can range quite significantly depending on the value of the damage done and the type of property that was damaged. Maximum penalties range from two years less a day imprisonment to life imprisonment for the most serious mischief offence.

Mischief Related to Property

The most common type of mischief is mischief related to property which includes domestic mischief. Simple mischief related to property offences are divided into two categories; offences with damage valued at over $5,000 or mischief involving a testamentary instrument and all other mischief offences, both of which are hybrid offences.

Where the value of the damage was over $5,000 or involved a testamentary instrument, and the Crown proceeds by indictment, the accused will face up to two years in prison. If the Crown proceeds summarily, the accused will face up to two years less a day in prison, a $5,000 fine, or both. For all other simple mischief offences, the accused will face up to two years’ imprisonment where the Crown proceeds by indictment and two years less a day, a $5,000 fine or both where the Crown proceeds summarily.

Aside from these penalties, the Criminal Code sets out more strict penalties for damage to certain types of property including; war memorials, cultural property, religious property or educational institutions and computer data.

Mischief in Relation to War Memorials

In cases where an accused has committed mischief in relation to a war memorial, the penalties they will face upon conviction will be increased. Mischief in relation to war memorials is a hybrid offence, giving the Crown discretion regarding the maximum penalties that may be imposed on an accused who is convicted. In more serious cases where the Crown proceeds by indictment the accused will face a maximum of ten years in prison. In less serious cases where the Crown proceeds summarily, the accused will face up to two years less a day in prison, a $5,000 fine or both. In all cases, the accused will be required on conviction to pay a mandatory $1,000 fine for a first offence. For a second offence the accused will face a mandatory fourteen days in prison and for a third or subsequent offence the accused will face a mandatory thirty days in prison.

Mischief Related to Cultural Property

In cases where an accused commits mischief in relation to cultural property, the accused will be guilty of a hybrid offence. In more serious cases where the Crown proceeds by indictment, the accused will face up to ten years in prison. In less serious cases where the Crown proceeds summarily, the accused will face up to two years less a day in prison, a $5,000 fine or both.

Mischief Related to Religious Property or Educational Institutions

In cases where an accused commits mischief in relation to religious property or educational institutions, the accused will be guilty of a hybrid offence. In more serious cases where the Crown proceeds by indictment the accused will face up to ten years in prison. In less serious cases where the Crown proceeds by summary conviction, the accused will face up to two years less a day in prison, a $5,000 fine or both.

Mischief in Relation to Computer Data

In cases where an individual commits mischief in relation to computer data, they will be guilty of a hybrid offence. In more serious cases the Crown will proceed by indictment and the accused will face up to ten years in prison. In less serious cases where the Crown proceeds summarily, the accused will face up to two years less a day in prison, a $5,000 fine or both.

Mischief Endangering Life

Mischief endangering life is the most serious of all mischief charges. If an individual commits mischief and in the process endangers human life, they will be guilty of this offence. Mischief endangering life is a straight indictable offence and those who are convicted will face a maximum of life in prison.

Quick Facts

What is Mischief in Newmarket?

The offence of mischief has been committed when an individual willfully destroys, alters, renders inoperable, obstructs, interferes or interrupts the use or enjoyment of property that does not belong to them. This definition is quite broad and encompasses a wide variety of actions.

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Criminal Mischief Charge?

It is always advisable to hire experienced legal counsel to represent you if you have been charged with mischief. Being convicted of a mischief offence could lead to serious consequences. Maximum penalties for those convicted of mischief range from two years less a day imprisonment to life imprisonment.

What is Domestic Mischief?

Domestic mischief charges are common in York Region and across Ontario. While there is no separate offence for domestic mischief in the Criminal Code, the fact that the offence occurred in a domestic relationship will be an aggravating factor in the case. An individual is guilty of domestic mischief when they damage property that is jointly owned with their domestic partner.

What is Mischief in Relation to Data?

Mischief in relation to data occurs when an individual willfully damages, alters, destroys, renders data meaningless, useless or ineffective, interrupts, obstructs or interferes with the lawful use of computer data or interrupts, obstructs or interferes with a person in the lawful use of computer data or denies access to computer data to a person who is entitled to access it.

Can I go to Jail for Mischief?

Yes. Mischief penalties vary based on the value of the damage, the type of property damaged, whether human life was endangered, and other mitigating and aggravating factors present in the case. The maximum penalties associated with a mischief conviction range from two years less a day imprisonment to life imprisonment in the most serious cases.

How does the Crown Prove Mischief?

To gain a mischief conviction, the Crown must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the accused committed one of the acts listed in section 430 of the Criminal Code, and that the accused committed the act intentionally. It is not necessary that the Crown prove that the accused intended for the specific damage that occurred, it is enough that the accused intended for any damage to occur.

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