January 1, 2018 Graffiti is a crime that involves the use of spray paint to deface the property of others with pictures and messages. Graffiti is difficult to remove and often leaves a lasting impression on neighborhoods. Residents in the Seattle area woke up on New Year’s Day to vandalism, most of it in the form of graffiti. The graffiti targeted new or renovated homes in the Madison Valley area. Homes were emblazoned with phrases such as “Yuppies” and “Eat the rich” and ones promoting violence such as “Kill cops.” The vandalism also included a smashed-up window of a pickup truck. Instead of relaxing or partying with loved ones, many homeowners spent New Year’s Day cleaning up the graffiti from their homes. While many empathize with the political messages, they did not think vandalism was necessary. The area has gone through some changes in the past few years, with new homes and renovations the norm. The ones doing the graffiti may not like the changes happening, but that does not make graffiti and other forms of vandalism acceptable. The Seattle Police Department did respond to several graffiti incidents near the 29th and 30th Avenue area. Officers also took photos of other incidents. Graffiti Control in Washington Graffiti is a problem in many cities in Washington. Many towns have taken various actions to regulate graffiti. For example, some have prohibited the sale of spray paint to minors. Others require graffiti removal—either by the property owner or perpetrator, if known—within a specified amount of time. Graffiti is considered malicious mischief in the first, second or third degree. All charges may require at least 90 days in jail and fines of $1,000 or more. When the damage is valued at under $250, the crime is a misdemeanor. When the damage is valued at $250 or more, the crime becomes a felony. Get Help for Your Criminal Case Graffiti may seem like a fun game for teens and young adults, but it’s a crime that may carry stiff penalties depending on the severity of the crime. Many cases are misdemeanors, but when the damaged property carries a high value, the charges are often elevated to felonies. Avoid jail time with help from the criminal defense lawyers at the Nahajski Firm. Let us defend you against the vandalism and criminal mischief charges you face. Find out more by scheduling a free consultation. Contact the Nahajski Firm today at (206) 621-0500.