Woman Destroys Ex’s Car – Charged with Criminal Mischief

September 27, 2022 Criminal Defense, News & Announcements

There is nothing quite like a broken heart—but that doesn’t give the broken-hearted a free pass to commit a crime. Country singer Carrie Underwood wrote the famous lyrics, “I took a Louisville slugger to both headlights, I slashed a hole in all four tires. Maybe next time he’ll think before he cheats.” 

Although it’s a powerful message, it should not be taken quite literally. Even in a fit of rage—whether deserved or not—it is against the law to damage or destroy someone else’s property or belongings.

A recent case in Florida highlights the outcome of one woman destroying someone else’s property, which resulted in criminal mischief charges.

What was the Incident?

Jennifer Sessler, 46, was arrested for criminal mischief after allegedly destroying her ex’s vehicle. According to the arrest affidavit from the Margate Police, Sessler drove to her ex’s house early in the morning on August 10th, 2022.

Sessler allegedly scratched up the paint on the vehicle, busted up both taillights, and etched into the side the word “whore.” In total, the damages to the car amounted to over $2,500.

The victim believed that Sessler may have been upset after seeing an image on Facebook of her ex with his new girlfriend, which was posted on the social media site the previous day. The victim said he had been in a relationship with Sessler for three years, but the couple recently broke up.

When police questioned Sessler about the crime, she denied any involvement. She told the detectives that she had been in Tallahassee during the time the car was damaged. However, there was no evidence to prove that she was in Tallahassee. Police checked statewide cameras but did not see Sessler’s tag registered anywhere.

Detectives in the case were able to obtain the surveillance video from the morning of the crime. The victim was able to identify Sessler as the suspect in the video. She was arrested and charged with criminal mischief.

Sessler has since been released from jail on a $1,000 bond and is pleading not guilty in the case. 

Criminal Mischief in Florida

Criminal mischief is the legal term used for vandalism. Florida Statute Section 806.13 states that criminal mischief occurs when an individual willingly and maliciously damages or injures any real or personal property that belongs to another person. This includes, but is not limited to graffiti, sabotage, defacement, or other acts of vandalism.

The charges for criminal mischief can vary in severity depending on the value of damage caused by the defendant. The following is a list of penalties for the different types of criminal mischief:

  • If the criminal mischief act caused damage worth $200 or less, it is considered a second-degree misdemeanor. The penalties for a second-degree misdemeanor include up to a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail.
  • If the criminal mischief act caused damage greater than $200 but less than $1,000, it is considered a first-degree misdemeanor. The penalties for a first-degree misdemeanor include up to a $1,000 fine and up to one year in jail.
  • If the criminal mischief act caused damage greater than $1,000, or if the act caused an interruption or impairment of a business operation or public transportation, communication, supply of water, gas, or power, it is considered a third-degree felony. The penalties for a third-degree felony can include up to a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison.
  • If the defendant had one or more previous convictions for criminal mischief, then the charge would be reclassified as a third-degree felony.

To find out more about criminal mischief and its defenses, read our page here. To read about specific criminal mischief crimes and cases, visit our blog posts on vandalism, graffiti, destroying school property, egging a house, destroying a home, ding-dong ditching, and criminal mischief at a place of worship.

Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

Getting accused of a criminal mischief offense can result in harsh consequences in Florida. Depending on the value of damages caused, you could be facing serious jail time and expensive fines. The best way to protect yourself and your future is to work with a skilled defense attorney in your area. Don Pumphrey and his team at Pumphrey Law Firm have experience representing clients across the state for various charges. Call us today for a free consultation at (850) 681-7777 or leave us an online message on our website.

Written by Karissa Key

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