The damage you caused to a farm may have been the result of an accident or mistake. But the punishment handed out for agricultural vandalism will still be severe. You might be facing felony charges, punishable by prison, fines and a criminal record.
What You Need To Know About Agricultural Vandalism
In Pennsylvania, you commit agricultural vandalism if you intentionally or recklessly deface, mark or damage real or tangible personal property that is used for agricultural activities or farming.
For example, if you drive your car too fast on a rural road, lose control on a curve and drive through a farm’s fence and corn field, causing destruction to both, you can face agricultural vandalism charges.
- If you intentionally cause a loss valued at more than $5,000 (including the cost of repair or replacement of the property affected), it is a felony of third degree.
- If you intentionally or recklessly cause a loss of more than $1,000 but less than $5,000, it is a misdemeanor of the first degree.
- If the loss is more than $500 but less than $1,000 it is a misdemeanor of the second degree.
- Other losses are graded as misdemeanors of the third degree.
The property allegedly damaged can include crops, livestock, poultry, and products that include eggs, milk and fruit.
What Your Lawyer Can Do
Your attorney will carefully review every aspect of your case to determine if there is evidence for all you have been accused of.
- Your lawyer will make every effort to discredit any evidence not in your favor.
- Much of what your lawyer can do to help you will depend on the exact circumstances of your case.
- You may have acted without criminal intent. If so, your lawyer will gather the evidence or witnesses to prove it.
- You may not have been reckless. If so, your lawyer will gather the evidence or witnesses to prove it.
Your lawyer will be looking at every avenue that can help you, so it’s important that you give them all of the information that can support your case.
How A Lawyer Will Help
When you are up against an agricultural vandalism charge, even before your first hearing you will be facing a determined prosecutor. You need an attorney who will stand by you every step of the way, work hard to discredit any evidence – and work with you to determine your best course of action.
Pennsylvania Agricultural Vandalism Law
Agricultural vandalism is described and defined under The Pennsylvania Criminal Code under Title 18, Chapter 33. Read the code here.
Questions? Contact us today.
Based on the evidence, Fienman Defense will try to show that the charges should be dismissed. If it’s in your best interest, we will work to negotiate a lesser sentence. Should the case go to trial, we will fight to present the strongest defense possible for your situation.