Graffiti charges rarely filed | ParkRecord.com

Graffiti charges rarely filed

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

Park City Police Department Lt. Rick Ryan says people arrested in graffiti cases are typically charged with criminal mischief but the severity of the charges depend on how expensive it is to clean the damage.

Ryan, though, says graffiti-related charges are rarely filed in Park City.

Graffiti artists are often difficult to catch because, according to Ryan, they often operate at night in places out of view, such as garages.

"Graffiti is pretty secretive. They’re not out there in broad daylight," Ryan says.

The Police Department in 2006 responded to 215 criminal-mischief cases, the third most in a decade. The number of those that involved graffiti is not known. The criminal-mischief cases in 2006 were up 33.5 percent from 2000, according to the department’s annual reports.

Criminal-mischief charges encompass a broad range of offenses, not exclusively graffiti.

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Criminal-mischief charges range from class B misdemeanors to second-degree felonies. Punishment for a class B misdemeanor can include a six-month sentence in jail and a $1,000 fine while a second-degree felony is punishable by between one and 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.