What to do if I’m being charged with Criminal Mischief because I knocked on a window I mistook for my friend’s and the window cracked?

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What to do if I’m being charged with Criminal Mischief because I knocked on a window I mistook for my friend’s and the window cracked?

I am willing to pay for the window but am I guilty of Criminal Mischief if there was no intent?

Asked on March 10, 2014 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Mischief, or malicious mischief is the specific name for different criminal offenses in a number of different criminal jurisdictions. While the wrongful acts will often involve what is popularly described as vandalism there can be a legal differentiation between the two. The etymology of the word comes from Old French meschief, which means "misfortune,' from meschever, "to end badly."

In computer science and hacker jargon, mischief is a form of attack that clearly indicates the breach of the system and constitutes a form of injury or an infringement of rights, more specifically invasion of privacy, against which legal action can be taken to secure damages. Grey hat hackers often use mischief as a way to signal security breaches to system administrators.

Mischief is also a way for hackers to "prove" themselves to others. As an overt demonstration to other hackers of their skill in the use of force, these security breaches can be taken as a sign of criminal intent and may result in charges as serious as terrorism. In this context, terroristic threat involves a threat to commit violence (the computer attack) communicated with intent to cause significant harm, inconvenience, or injury (the resulting breach) in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such harm, inconvenience, or injury. Brute force is associated with hacker ‘mischief’.

Answer: I suggest you consult with a criminal defense attorney in your locality to assist you in resolving the matter written about. One can be found on attorneypages.com.


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