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  • Writer's pictureBrandon Hicks

Protecting Your Rights: Understanding Indiana's Criminal Mischief Laws 35-43-1-2


In Indiana, property crimes are taken seriously, and those accused of criminal mischief can face serious consequences. At B. Hicks Law, we understand the complexities of Indiana's criminal laws and are here to protect your rights and provide you with the best possible defense. In this blog post, we'll explore Indiana's criminal mischief laws under IC

and help you understand the potential consequences associated with these offenses.


Understanding Criminal Mischief in Indiana

Criminal mischief is defined in Indiana under IC 35-43-1-2. This law covers a range of situations where individuals damage or deface property belonging to others without their consent. The severity of the offense depends on several factors, including the extent of property damage and the specific circumstances surrounding the incident. Here's an overview of the key provisions:

1. Criminal Mischief (IC 35-43-1-2(a))

  • A person who recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally damages or defaces property of another person without their consent commits criminal mischief, which is classified as a Class B misdemeanor.

  • This offense can be elevated to a Class A misdemeanor if the pecuniary loss is at least $750 but less than $50,000.

  • It becomes a Level 6 felony if the pecuniary loss is at least $50,000, if the damage causes a substantial interruption or impairment of public utility services, if the damage is to a public record, or if the damage is to a law enforcement animal.

2. Institutional Criminal Mischief (IC 35-43-1-2(b))

  • Institutional criminal mischief applies when a person recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally damages specific types of property, including structures used for religious worship, schools, community centers, and more, without the owner's consent.

  • This offense is considered a Class A misdemeanor but can be elevated to a Level 6 or Level 5 felony if the pecuniary loss is at least $750 but less than $50,000 or at least $50,000, respectively.

3. Controlled Substances Criminal Mischief (IC 35-43-1-2(c))

  • This provision covers cases where property damage occurs during the dealing or manufacture of a controlled substance, and it involves fire or an explosion. This offense is classified as a Level 6 felony but can be upgraded to a Level 5 felony if it results in moderate bodily injury to someone other than the defendant.

Additional Considerations

  • If the offense involves graffiti, the court may order the suspension or invalidation of the offender's driver's license for up to one year.

  • The court may rescind this order if the person removes or paints over the graffiti or makes other suitable restitution.

  • "Pecuniary loss" encompasses various costs incurred in inspecting, cleaning, and decontaminating property contaminated by a pollutant. This includes the costs necessary to inspect, clean, and decontaminate the property by a certified professional.


Understanding Indiana's criminal mischief laws is essential for protecting your rights and making informed decisions if you or someone you know is facing such charges. B. Hicks Law is here to provide expert legal guidance and support through these challenging situations. If you're in need of legal representation or have questions about Indiana's criminal laws, don't hesitate to reach out to our experienced legal team for a confidential consultation.

Remember, your rights matter, and a strong defense can make all the difference.

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