Practice Areas


Mischief | Property Offences in Ottawa

Mischief is a common crime, especially among young people. It usually involves the intentional damage of another person’s property, without the intention of stealing it. The damaged property is rendered useless, dangerous, ineffective or inoperative as a result of the mischievous act.

In many cases, offenders are not familiar with the criminal offence of mischief until they are charged with it. However, the charges are taken seriously in Ottawa and charges will be pressed for even the smallest amount of property damage.

If you have been charged with mischief, you risk the chances of obtaining a criminal record, and you may have to serve some jail time depending on the level of damage caused.

Consequences of Mischief Charges

Mischief charges for damages amounting to less than $5000 are considered either as indictable or summary offences. Mischief charges for damages amounting to more than $5000 are considered serious and carry heavy punishments.

Indictable offences
The maximum length of imprisonment for mischief pursued as indictable offences is two years. Offenders may also be sentenced to probation that lasts for up to three years if convicted.
If the attack was carried out on property that is considered religious or cultural, or to computer data, then the offender may be sentenced to a maximum of ten years. Longer sentences may be awarded when the mischief is considered a crime of hate or when the data destroyed was irreplaceable or of tremendous value.

Summary offences
Summary convictions are given to crimes of mischief that are considered minor, and the offender may serve up to six months in prison. The accused must be charged within six months of the offence. First time offenders are rarely given any jail time especially if the damage is under $5000. However, anyone convicted of mischief will have a criminal record and is likely to serve a probationary sentence or imprisonment.