Mischief is a property related offence that’s often used when something has been vandalized or otherwise tampered with. It may be considered a less serious offence, but a mischief conviction can still have significant repercussions for someone’s personal and professional reputation, even years later. Often, those charged with mischief are younger people or otherwise responsible people who have simply made a mistake.
The charge of mischief can often be used as a catch-all offence by law enforcement, as the offence covers a wide variety of public-disturbance related violations. The offences that can trigger a mischief charge can range from tagging to mischief that causes danger to the safety and well being of others. It is important to know that mischief that causes damage exceeding $5,000, or mischief related to properties of cultural or religious significance are taken more seriously by the law. If you or someone you know has been accused of mischief, give us a call.
Mischief is defined in the Canadian Criminal Code s. 430 as:
(1) Every one commits mischief who wilfully
(a) destroys or damages property;
(b) renders property dangerous, useless, inoperative or ineffective;
(c) obstructs, interrupts or interferes with the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property
(d) obstructs, interrupts or interferes with any person in the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property