On Friday, November 16, Santa Clarita Sheriff Station deputies arrested a man suspected of committing vandalism over the Veteran’s Day weekend. The man is suspected of having thrown bricks through the windows of a local business on Lyons Ave. in Newhall. The suspect is a 45-year-old male transient whom local deputies had been searching for. He was arrested on felony vandalism charges and taken to the Santa Clarita Sheriff Station to undergo booking and processing.
Vandalism is covered under California Penal Code 594 PC and is described as defacing with graffiti or other written material, damaging, or destroying, someone else’s property. The severity of vandalism charges depend on the value of the property that was damaged or destroyed. If the value is less than $400, the crime is charged as a misdemeanor. However, if the value of the property is worth $400 or more, the crime becomes a “wobbler” that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.
If the crime is charged as a misdemeanor, the possible penalties include summary probation, up to 1 year in county jail and/or a maximum fine of $1,000 (or up to $5,000 if the defendant has a prior vandalism conviction). For felonies, the possible penalties include between 1 and 3 years in jail, a fine of up to $10,000 (or $50,000 if the value of the damage done was $10,000 or more), or summary probation.
When sentenced to probation only, it’s possible that a defendant will have to apply with certain conditions, including a driver’s license suspension, mandatory participation in counseling, community service, being tasked with keeping community property graffiti free for up to 1 year.