Mischief and Related Criminal Offences

The Criminal Code of Canada captures numerous activities that would constitute mischief.  One commits mischief if one: 1) destroys or damages property; 2) renders property dangerous or useless; 3) obstructs, interrupts or interferes with any person in the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property, or 4) obstructs, interrupts or interferes with any person in the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property.  There are other forms of mischief and related offences.  For example, there can also be mischief to destroying or altering computer data.   Mischief, like Theft is separated into two categories – Mischief Under $5000.00 and Mischief Over $5000.00.  These categories relate to the value and monetary amount of the damages caused by the mischief.    The sentencing and penalties for mischief can range from a conditional discharge (not considered a criminal record) to 10 years in prison (depending on whether the Crown prosecutor elects summarily or by indictment).   One can also be held criminally responsible if they cause actual danger to life.  In such a case, the maximum term of imprisonment is life in prison.  Acts and incidents of mischief range from minor vandalism to serious manipulation with malice to someone else’s property(i.e., brakes in an automobile) that would put that person in real danger or peril.  If you are charged with Mischief in Ontario feel free to contact Baratz Law for a free confidential consultation to discuss your options.