Three teenagers have been arrested in Cherokee County after being accused of vandalizing a local church.
The teens allegedly spray-pained a swastika, upside-down crosses and a negative reference to the Christian faith. Authorities were called to the scene after a break in was reported. Damage was found to the furniture inside as well as the windows.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I am very familiar with all different types of criminal laws. Most people are familiar with the crime of vandalism. Yet, there are few who are aware of the more serious crime of vandalizing a place of worship.
In today's post, I will outline the law behind the offense as well as the consequences if convicted of this type of vandalism.
Vandalizing a Place of Worship in Georgia
Vandalizing a Place of Worship in Georgia is defined by Georgia Law in O.C.G.A. §16-7-26 as:
A person commits vandalizing a place of worship when they maliciously deface or desecrate a church, synagogue, or other place of public religious worship.
Vandalism of a place of worship is classified as a felony. The penalty will be a prison term between one and five years. Georgia Felony Punishments should not be taken lightly - whether faced by an adult or a juvenile in the state of Georgia. Regardless of age, a person is facing some very serious consequences.
Georgia law requires that the vandalism was done maliciously. Evidence that it was a mistake or a misunderstanding would be greatly beneficial to your case. One of our Georgia Vandalism of a Place of Worship Lawyers can help develop this argument.
Even though vandalism is a crime, if the place was not a place of worship, such as a church, a temple, a synagogue, etc. then you cannot be charged under this statute. However, you can still be charged with vandalism.
Crimes that fall under the same category as vandalism include littering, bail jumping, public drunkenness, and arson.
As a firm, we have over 50 years of combined experience, and each of our attorneys is very familiar as well as practiced in not only understanding the plethora of different crimes within the state of Georgia but also how to properly defend them.