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Felony Criminal Mischief for Running Into Apartment Gate

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  • Felony Criminal Mischief for Running Into Apartment Gate

    Granted we don't have all the details here, but the article makes it sounds like this guy tried to follow a car out and negligently hit the gate. Unless this man intentionally rammed the gate, shouldn't this just be a civil case for damages? Felony Criminal Mischief seems a bit extreme. Maybe RECKLESS DAMAGE OR DESTRUCTION.

    From the article:

    Surveillance video from the Aspen Heights apartment complex in College Station, recorded about 4 a.m. Aug. 30, shows a pickup driver trying to exit behind a car. When the complex's security gates closed after the car went through, the truck accelerated, causing $9,800 damage, police said.
    http://www.theeagle.com/local/CS-man...te--police-say
    Last edited by xcfmx; 10-02-2009, 01:51 PM. Reason: add text

  • #2
    The driver knowingly did an action that caused $9800 worth of damage. You do not have to intentionally do an act to have the offense of criminal mischief. The driver should have been reasonably certain that his action of trying to beat the gate was going to cause damage to the gate = criminal mischief. It is a felony because of the dollar amount of the damage.

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    • #3
      Is that gate gold plated?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by usmcrob View Post
        The driver knowingly did an action that caused $9800 worth of damage. You do not have to intentionally do an act to have the offense of criminal mischief. The driver should have been reasonably certain that his action of trying to beat the gate was going to cause damage to the gate = criminal mischief. It is a felony because of the dollar amount of the damage.
        I think it all comes down how someone interprets the culpable mental states. Most people who are reasonably certain that they are going to collide with the gate would not proceed with that action.

        To me, someone in this scenario would more likely be aware of but consciously disregard a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur. (reckless) Thus creating the offense of Reckless Damage or Destruction.

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        • #5
          Yeah, I think there's plenty of room for debate about the culpable mental state.

          V.T.C.A., Penal Code § 6.03
          Definitions of Culpable Mental States

          (b) A person acts knowingly, or with knowledge, with respect to the nature of his conduct or to circumstances surrounding his conduct when he is aware of the nature of his conduct or that the circumstances exist. A person acts knowingly, or with knowledge, with respect to a result of his conduct when he is aware that his conduct is reasonably certain to cause the result.


          The driver must actually be aware that trying to beat the gate was reasonably certain to result in the property damage. I think the driver might be able to successfully raise the "I'm a dumbass" affirmative defense.

          I agree that this seems more like a "reckless" type mental state than "knowing."
          "No one can make you feel like a turd without your permission." - Eleanor Roosevelt.

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          • #6
            I would LOVE to be in court and here someone tell the judge "I'm sorry, I'm a dumba55!!!!"

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            • #7
              I don't have an issue with the charge. Charge the higher offense and let the court decide if it needs to be plead down. I probably wouldn't arrest for it though.

              Also I think these statements shed a little more light....sounds like he wasn't too forthcoming with his actions.

              "A 20-year-old College Station man has been charged with felony criminal mischief a month after he, according to police, rammed his truck through an apartment complex's security gates.

              Juan Phillip Mejias was arrested Wednesday after being linked to the truck, police said."
              Last edited by dfwblue; 10-02-2009, 08:52 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by dfwblue View Post
                Also I think these statements shed a little more light....sounds like he wasn't too forthcoming with his actions.

                "A 20-year-old College Station man has been charged with felony criminal mischief a month after he, according to police, rammed his truck through an apartment complex's security gates.

                Juan Phillip Mejias was arrested Wednesday after being linked to the truck, police said."
                I missed the part where they had to "link" him to the truck when I first read the article. They probably had a DWI, but since he fled he probably got away with that one.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by usmcrob View Post
                  The driver knowingly did an action that caused $9800 worth of damage. You do not have to intentionally do an act to have the offense of criminal mischief. The driver should have been reasonably certain that his action of trying to beat the gate was going to cause damage to the gate = criminal mischief. It is a felony because of the dollar amount of the damage.
                  YOUR ON VACATION CUT IT OUT

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