In order to establish the offence of Mischief, the Crown must prove that the Accused wilfully destroyed, or otherwise rendered useless or obstructed the use of, another person’s property. Like many other property related crimes, it is separated into two categories depending on whether the value of the property is under or over $5,000.
What You Need to Know
- Where the value of the property in question exceeds $5,000, the maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment.
- Where the value of the property in question does not exceed $5,000, the maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment.
- If the Accused caused actual danger to life in committing the offence, then the maximum punishment is life imprisonment.
- Where the circumstances surrounding the offence are relatively minor, the Accused may be eligible for the Diversion (see below) program through the Elizabeth Fry Society.
The diversion program is available to first time offenders who are accused of “Stage One Provincial Offences”. In order to be eligible for the program an Accused person must be approved by the Crown Attorney. If Approved, completion of the program will result in the charges against the Accused being withdrawn, thereby avoiding a criminal conviction. The program’s requirements will vary depending on the Accused’s personal circumstances. However the program often requires community service, counselling, restitution, and an acknowledgment of wrongful conduct. Where the program is completed successfully, the Accused does not receive any criminal record.