Vandalism is one of the many offenses that fall into “criminal mischief” category. It is the act of intentionally destroying another person’s property. They may include breaking windows, graffiti, damage to other people’s vehicles, and even destroying a website. It is considered a crime because vandalism destroys public and private property, this accounting as being a threat to society. Vandalism is considered a malicious act with personal ill-will, even though it may not be necessary for the perpetrators to know who their victim (or victims) is.
There are other people who argue that vandalism is an “art”, however those who have committed the crime of vandalism are still liable for penalties that the law has made. It may be hard to determine vandalism because it covers a broad spectrum of activities, but for law enforcers, any act that generally includes willful behaviors intended to destroy, alter or deface a property (public or private) can be considered as vandalism. It should also be noted that any person can be charged with vandalism if they are caught with any means to commit the act (such as underage teenagers with spray paint at school or park, possessing glass cutter, drill bits, etc.)
There are laws that have been made to handle vandalism, and the severity of these laws each depend on the States they are in. These laws are generally made in order to protect and prevent destruction of public and private properties. They are also made to protect people against hate crimes or other negative behaviors against religious or minority groups, as in the past some vandals have committed the act to spread hate and misinformation.
As written in an article on the website of Austin lawyer Ian Inglis, there are certain places or properties that are especially protected against vandalism, and most of these places are public or owned by the government. Places such as those that offer telecommunication services, medical facilities, public transports facilities, and public utilities are all protected against vandalism. Vandalism is considered either a misdemeanor or a felony offense, and penalties include hefty fines, jail time and possibly both, depending on numerous factors.