Tooele, UT asked in Criminal Law for Utah

Q: Bob is accused of criminal mischeft for PURPOSLY breaking a window while intoxicated when he doesnt remember doing it

Can bob get off on a technicality? dont they have to prove that he did it on purpose or it doesnt count.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Stephen Howard
Stephen Howard
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Licensed in Utah

A: In Utah, criminal mischief is usually charged where a person person "intentionally damages . . . the property of another." Whether the damage was done "intentionally" can be up to a jury to decide. The fact that a defendant can't remember what happened could actually work against him, because he won't be able to rebut testimony from other witnesses. If other witnesses saw what happened, and if what they saw makes it look like the damage was done intentionally, he could be found guilty. If the damage occurred by accident, it would not normally be a criminal matter. If witnesses (including the defendant) can provide testimony that shows the damage occurred accidentally, he has a much better chance in court. He should definitely consult with an attorney before going into court on any criminal charge.

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