Vandalism Laws in New Hampshire

criminal mischief

Shooting out windows with your BB gun, putting your “tag” on the side of the court-house or puncturing the tires of your enemy’s car are all examples of vandalism or, Criminal Mischief.

You are guilty of Criminal Mischief if, having no right to do so, nor any reasonable basis for believing that you have such a right, you purposely or recklessly damage the property of another. So, if you smash your own beer stein you have not committed an offense as the stein is not the property of another. However, if you smash a beer stein and it just so happens that the beer stein belongs to your law partner, well then, that is the property of another and you face a possible prosecution under this statute.


Criminal Mischief may be charged as a felony where the pecuniary loss is greater than $1,500, you discharge a firearm at an occupied structure or you somehow manage to shut down a public service. Causing damage between $1,500 and $100 subjects you to a Class A Misdemeanor. The penalties don’t stop with a jail sentence. For instance, if the act of Criminal Mischief is committed while using or driving a car, if you’re hanging out the window shooting your bb gun at all the local businesses breaking windows, the Court may suspend your license for 90 days. Importantly, the amount of loss may be aggregated to determine the grade of the offense if the criminal mischief was committed pursuant to one scheme or course of conduct.

Your window breaking BB gun rampage can cost you dearly. Even if your act of criminal mischief was a one-time stupid act your BB gun spree can still ruin your future: everything from a criminal conviction, to jail, to costly restitution and a loss of license.

If you or someone you know is facing a Criminal Mischief allegation have them call or email today!

Our telephone number is: 603-595-5525

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