The New York Penal Code provides for several different offenses to punish those who damage property belonging to another person. Such a law makes it illegal to make graffiti. Graffiti is defined as the degradation of property by erasing, painting, covering, drawing or otherwise placing a mark on public or private property. Under Section 145.60 of New York Criminal Law, you can be prosecuted for graffiti if you: For more information on understanding graffiti arrests, see Part 2 of Understanding the Law of Graffiti Making. Depending on the facts of your case, there are several possible defenses. If you can prove that you own the property or that the owner of the property gave you permission, then you would have a defense against a graffiti charge. Of course, if you`re accused of graffiti in New York or anywhere in the Hudson Valley, don`t be afraid to exercise your right to remain silent and ask for a lawyer. While this may upset the police officers making the arrest or investigation, and you may face additional arrests or more serious charges, you are only to blame if you provide the necessary evidence – a confession – that allows law enforcement to prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law. Another possible defense is that even if you did not intend to damage the property, you intended to improve the property.
However, it can be difficult to convince a court that the graffiti you did actually improve the property, especially if you didn`t have permission from the landlord to put graffiti on the property. Angry that his friends were recently arrested on “false” charges, Michael spray-painted graffiti on several private homes, a synagogue and a high school. The graffiti contained derogatory references to members of the local police department. Michael could be prosecuted for graffiti because he placed graffiti on several plots of land that did not belong to him without the permission of the owners of the property. The charge of “graffiti making” is usually accompanied by the charge of “possession of graffiti instruments,” which is a Class B offence punishable by up to 90 days in jail. According to article 145.65 of the Criminal Code, graffiti instruments include “any tool, instrument, article, substance, solution or other compound intended for the engraving, painting, covering, drawing or affixing of a trademark” if they are “possessed in circumstances that indicate the intention to use them to damage such property”. In cases where a person is caught graffitiing with such an instrument, possession with the intent to use that instrument to damage that property is obvious. In cases where individuals are not actually observed using the device to make graffiti, but are caught in possession of something that would have been used to damage property under subsection 145.60(2) of the Criminal Code, law enforcement agencies may use circumstantial evidence to prove that the person intended: use it to damage property. An example would be if a person has a marker or spray can that matches the color of graffiti marks on a neighbouring property, or if that person has matching paint on their fingers, hands or clothing. As always, the easiest way for law enforcement to determine ownership intentionally (as well as the actual fabrication of the graffiti) is to get a statement from the person admitting as such.
For this reason, we ask anyone accused of committing a crime to consult with an experienced lawyer before engaging in ANY discussions with law enforcement. The term “graffiti” is defined in article 145.60, paragraph 2, of the Criminal Code as engraving, painting, covering, drawing or otherwise marking public or private property with the intention of damaging that property. In other words, using a coloured pencil, liquid aerosol, permanent marker, pencil, knife or chisel to carve a mark on a property is also illegal under the Graffiti Act. It should be noted that any argument that a graffiti maker simply intended to “improve” the property they have marked will fail if the owner of the property has not given consent. Section 145.60 (1) of the New York Penal Code defines “graffiti” as an engraving, painting, covering, drawing or other marking on public or private property with intent to damage that property. The crime of graffiti is actually codified in New York Criminal Law 145.60 (2). As such, you must PL 145.60 (2) if you graffiti any kind on any property, real or personal, without the permission of the owner or operator. Is prison a possible punishment if you are convicted of PL 145.60? The short answer is yes. In fact, you could spend up to a year in a jail cell in Rikers Island (New York). In addition to the remedy, a judge could sentence you to up to three years of probation, community service and fines. The production of graffiti is a Class A offence. Your sentence will be that you have to spend up to a year in the county jail.
But there is also a good chance that the judge will not sentence you to prison, but rather to a 3-year suspended sentence. You may also have to pay a fine and pay compensation to the property owner. When it comes to graffiti crimes in New York, whether charged alone or for other graffiti-making crimes, defense attorneys are routinely asked the same questions. Is graffiti in New York a crime? Does it matter if your graffiti is artistic or made with permanent markers, paint, or something that gets washed away? If you make illegal graffiti, is it a crime or a misdemeanor? What is the penalty for graffiti? Given that the damage caused by graffiti may affect the crime for which you will ultimately be arrested and charged, whether it is New York Criminal Law 145.60 alone or in conjunction with other crimes, whether graffiti production is prosecuted as a felony or misdemeanor, and the punishment and punishment of that conviction, depends on many factors. Discuss the elements of graffiti making and other crimes with your criminal defense attorney or graffiti defense attorney. For the purposes of this section, the term “graffiti” means the engraving, painting, covering, drawing or otherwise affixing a trademark to public or private property with intent to damage that property. Be smart. Use your right to remain silent. Don`t give the police the information they need to charge you with multiple crimes. Ultimately, if it`s in your best interest to talk to them or the district attorney, you and your vandalism attorney or graffiti advocate can make that decision and do it in a way that still protects your rights. No person may affix graffiti of any kind to a public or private building or other property belonging to a person, enterprise or company or a public institution or instrument without the express permission of the owner or operator of such property. The New York Penal Code recognizes specific graffiti-related crimes.
Two of these offences are Making Graffiti, New York Penal Law 145.60, and Possession of Graffiti Instruments 145.65. Another common charge is criminal mischief under section 145.00 of the New York Criminal Code.