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Tennessee's vandalism laws

Tennessee has a number of laws on the books to help ensure that personal and public property is kept safe. Of course, where there are laws, there are often false allegations and abuses of power, which is why it is important for Tennesseans to have a firm understanding of the law, particularly if they have been charged with a criminal offense. By having a grasp on the applicable statutes, a criminal defendant can start to develop a strategy that works best for his or her particular set of circumstances.

Some of these property-related laws relate to vandalism. Under these statutes, an individual is guilty of vandalism if he or she knowingly commits one of a number of enunciated acts. First, an individual will be deemed to have committed this offense if he or she damages or destroys the property of another without consent. Second, vandalism has occurred if the accused assists in the vandalism of a retailer, so long as the accused intended to further the vandalism.

Although these two sections of the statute cover a wide swath of vandalism offenses, they don't cover all of them. Instead, the law also considers vandalism to have occurred when an individual damages a retailer's merchandise or serves as an accessory after the fact of such an act of vandalism.

The penalties imposed upon conviction for this offense can be harsh. A convicted individual may be forced into incarceration, as well as into the payment of fines and restitution. The mark it can leave on one's criminal record can be troublesome far into the future, too.

However, since this offense requires a certain level of intent, such as knowingly destroying property, there are often ways to raise doubt as to an individual's guilt. Those who want to learn more about how to build a strong criminal defense case should think about discussing the matter with a criminal defense attorney of their choosing.

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