The Charge

Generally, “Mischief” is any interference with the property of another person. There are two separate offences related to mischief: cases where the alleged damage caused is over $5000, and under $5000.

Mischief can be committed in several ways:

  • By destroying property;
  • By altering property to make it dangerous, ineffective or useless;
  • By interrupting or interfering with another person using or enjoying that property;
  • By obstructing or interfering with anyone who is trying to use or enjoy that property.

These acts must be done deliberately. For example, a person who unwittingly backs their vehicle over another person’s bicycle in a driveway would not be guilty of mischief, even though they destroyed property.

Common examples of mischief include: spray painting a building or house; smashing someone’s windows, and slashing someone’s tires.

It is important to know that even if you partly own the property that you ae alleged to have damaged, you can still be charged and convicted of mischief.

Damaging a church, mosque, synagogue or other place of worship is treated extremely seriously and can result in a jail term of up to 10 years! Contact us right away if it is alleged that you vandalized a place of religious worship.


You can expect to be placed on conditions that restrict you from (1) contacting the owner of the damaged property and (2) attending to the property where you caused the damage.

These charges often arise out of conflicts between romantic partners, so these types of conditions can often impose a massive hardship on anyone accused of this crime.

Let Calgary Criminal Lawyers work for you! We may be able to alter these terms for you, so that you can resume contact with a loved one and return to property that you visit frequently or live at.

The Defence

Let Calgary Criminal Lawyers review your case. The prosecution may have difficulty proving one or more of the necessary elements of the charge. We will review the entirety of the police information package in detail along with your version of the incident, with special attention paid to the following important issues:

  • Can the Crown prove you caused the damage?
  • Can the Crown prove the damage was caused deliberately?
  • Can the Crown prove the value of the damage caused?

The Sentence

The longest possible jail sentence for mischief under $5000 is two years, and this can be accompanied by fines and probation.

In addition, the Judge will order in almost every case that you pay the victim back for the damage you caused.

Mischief over $5000 can attract a period of incarceration of a maximum of ten years.

We can help you if it comes time to be sentenced for this charge. Depending on the circumstances of your case and your previous history, a wide range of options for resolution without trial may be available, including: out-of-court resolution; pleading guilty but avoiding a criminal record; and community service. Contact us right away, as certain steps must be taken as soon as possible to ensure the best result for your case.