Graffiti Incidents Increase in Pittsburgh’s East End
Pennsylvania law considers property crimes to be very serious. As such, the recent increase in graffiti crime in Pittsburgh has attracted significant attention. Law enforcement officials are seeking to identify and arrest the individuals responsible for the recent graffiti incidences on the city’s east side. An arrest for defacing property can result in incarceration and a permanent criminal record. If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges for a graffiti arrest, you will need a skilled attorney to protect your rights and keep you out of jail.
Police Seek Those Responsible for Rising Graffiti Crimes in Pittsburgh
Law enforcement believes that many of the recent graffiti incidences in Pittsburgh’s east end are related to each other due to the consistency of the markings or tags on the defaced property. It is likely that the same person or group of people are responsible for the new surge in graffiti crimes in this area. Many of the victims of this spike in crime are small businesses and residential buildings. In certain cases, the damage will cost the owners many hundreds or thousands of dollars to repair.
A surge in graffiti crimes can happen in a city or neighborhood for a variety of reasons. While it is currently unclear why Pittsburgh’s east end has recently seen a spike in graffiti vandalism, the causes for an increase in these offenses may include:
- A new gang or group is looking to make a name for itself in the neighborhood
- There is an increasing number of dilapidated and abandoned buildings which can be very inviting to vandals
- A reduced or non-existent police presence or neighborhood watch program
- Young people in the area are out of school, unemployed, and do not know what to do with their time
Pennsylvania’s Graffiti Laws Can Have A Significant Impact on Offenders
Applying graffiti on the property of someone else can lead to charges of criminal mischief. Pennsylvania’s criminal mischief laws include acts of graffiti as well as any other intentional act to deface or damage the property of another without their consent. As with any other property crime in Pennsylvania, the punishment that you may face is determined by the value of the property loss, or the cost to repair or clean the property.
The following charges can be brought against you after an arrest for a graffiti crime:
- Summary offense – punishable by up to 90 days in jail, and a fine up to $300 if the property damage is under $500
- Third-degree misdemeanor – punishable by up to one year in jail, and fines reaching $2,000 if the property damage is between $500 and $1,000
- Second-degree misdemeanor – punishable by up to two years in jail, and a fine of up to $5,000 if the property damage is between $1,000 and $5,000
- Third-degree felony – punishable by up to seven years in prison, and fines reaching $15,000 if the damage is over $5,000
Facing Charges for a Graffiti Crime in Pittsburgh?
Police and residents in Pittsburgh’s east end are very concerned about the recent spike in graffiti crimes in the area. The damage to commercial and residential properties is costly for the owners and residents. Pennsylvania’s strict property crime laws can result in harsh sentences for offenders, even if the damaged property is already dilapidated or abandoned. If you or a loved one has been accused of a graffiti crime in Pittsburgh, it’s important to call a skilled property crimes lawyer from Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC as soon as possible. We understand how property crimes are prosecuted, and we can help you throughout the legal process.