NH Law of the Day: Criminal Mischief
May 21, 2011 Leave a comment
Here is the law in New Hampshire prohibiting “criminal mischief”:
634:2 Criminal Mischief.
I. A person is guilty of criminal mischief who, having no right to do so nor any reasonable basis for belief of having such a right, purposely or recklessly damages property of another.
II. Criminal mischief is a class B felony if the actor purposely causes or attempts to cause:
(a) Pecuniary loss in excess of $1,000; or
(b) A substantial interruption or impairment of public communication, transportation, supply of water, gas or power or other public service; or
(c) Discharge of a firearm at an occupied structure, as defined in RSA 635:1, III; or
(d) Damage to private or public property, real or personal, when the actor knows that the property has historical, cultural, or sentimental value that cannot be restored by repair or replacement.
II-a. Criminal mischief is a class A misdemeanor if the actor purposely causes or attempts to cause pecuniary loss in excess of $100 and not more than $1,000.
III. All other criminal mischief is a misdemeanor.
IV. As used in this section, “property” has the same meaning as in RSA 637:2, I; “property of another” has the same meaning as in RSA 637:2, IV.
V. For purposes of determining pecuniary loss under subparagraph II(a), amounts involved in acts committed pursuant to one scheme or course of conduct participated in by the actor may be aggregated in determining the grade of the offense.
VI. Any person who is found guilty of criminal mischief under paragraph III of this section because he or she has vandalized, defaced, or destroyed any part of the “Old Man of the Mountain” or any natural geological formation, site, or rock surface located on public property that has been designated by the state or any of its political subdivisions or the federal government as a natural area or landmark shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor and shall also make restitution to the state for any damage he or she has caused.
VII. If the court determines that a motor vehicle was used to abet the commission of the act constituting criminal mischief, the court may suspend, for a period not to exceed 90 days, the driver’s license of a person who is convicted of criminal mischief, or the driver’s licenses of persons who are convicted of criminal mischief.
VIII. Any person who is found guilty of criminal mischief under this section because the person has purposely or recklessly damaged an emergency vehicle, emergency apparatus, or private vehicle containing emergency equipment, shall be liable for full restitution to the injured party.
IX. Any person who is found guilty of criminal mischief under this section because such person is a tenant, or a guest of such tenant, in a rental dwelling who has destroyed, disconnected, or otherwise rendered inoperable any smoke detector in the rental dwelling, or who has attempted the same in a rental dwelling, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
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Salem, NH 03079