What Is Criminal Mischief in Texas?

In juvenile law, there are a few crimes that are more common than others, such as possession of drug paraphernalia, petty theft and vandalism. The latter is included in criminal mischief, a specific group of offenses with its own consequences. If your child is facing a criminal mischief charge, it’s important to understand what that actually means.

What Is the Definition of Criminal Mischief?

According to Texas law, a person commits criminal mischief if, without consent of the owner of the property, they:

  • Intentionally damage or destroy the property
  • Intentionally tamper with the property and cause loss or inconvenience
  • Intentionally make markings on the property

There are many types of criminal mischief. For example, your child can be charged by:

  • Spraying graffiti on someone else’s property
  • Damaging a car by keying
  • Entering a vacant home, warehouse or other private property
  • Entering a school after hours or illegally
  • Breaking the windows and doors on a vacant home or building

The Consequences of Criminal Mischief in Texas

The consequences of committing criminal mischief can range from misdemeanors to felonies, depending on the severity of the damage.


According to Texas law, the charge can result in a Class C misdemeanor if:

  • The amount of the loss resulting from the damage is less than $100
  • The damage causes substantial inconvenience to others (i.e., loss of business or if significant cleaning is required)

A Class B misdemeanor may result if the loss is $100 or more but less than $750. It’s also possible to receive a Class A misdemeanor if the loss is $750 or more. Misdemeanors in Texas can result in fines as well as jail time, depending on the severity of the charge.


Felonies typically result if the loss is $2,500 or more. Yet, it’s also possible to face a felony charge if the loss is less if the property is a home or if the damage is caused by a firearm. Felonies range from state jail felonies to felonies of the first degree, depending on the factors involved. Felonies almost always result in jail time but can also include fines.

Child Caught in an Act of Criminal Mischief? Call The Maddox Law Firm.

Kids make mistakes. Your child’s mistake shouldn’t hinder their future. If your child is facing a charge for criminal mischief, reach out to the compassionate attorneys at The Maddox Law Firm. To learn more about your potential case, give us a call at 972-373-3635 or send us a message.

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