Mischief (Criminal Code) is one of the most common domestic violence related charges that are laid. Mischief in this type of context usually involves damaging or interfering with the use of another person’s property. Ordinarily, the courts do not take a very strict approach to mischief, especially when the value of the damaged property is not very high. However, if mischief occurs in the context of an intimate relationship, the courts and police consider this as a red flag.
Mischief charges can be laid for just about any type of damage to property. Common examples include punching holes in walls, smashing or damaging mobile phones and other electronics, and damaging vehicles. Property damage in domestic relationships is seen as a risk factor for further domestic abuse. For this reason, any type of crime against a domestic partner is treated very seriously. This is the case even in situations where there is no physical violence done to the victim of the offence.
In order for a person to be convicted of the charge of mischief under the Criminal Code, the prosecution must prove that the damage done was intended. Damage caused by accident or without an intention to cause damage is not criminal. Additionally a person cannot be charged with mischief to property owned by that person. It is very important to note that if an act of mischief endangers the life of another person, the maximum sentence for this offence is life imprisonment. Further reading on the crime of mischief can be found here.
If you are charged with mischief and the victim is a romantic partner you can expect to be placed under a no contact order with the victim; even if there is not threat to the victim’s safety. A skilled criminal lawyer with knowledge of domestic assault charges can be the difference between a prolonged no contact order and being reunited with your partner.