Graffiti is considered vandalism in Scotland and is punishable under the Criminal Law (Consolidation) Act 1995. A maximum fine of PS10,000 is imposed. A jail term of up to 3 months for a first offense and up to 6 months for every subsequent offense is also conceivable. However, since 2011, politicians have been discussing a proposal to remove criminal penalties for graffiti, which would make it possible to issue on-the-spot fines.
The Scottish Government has announced its intention to introduce civil penalties for people who paint graffiti on buildings. Currently, people who write on buildings can be prosecuted under criminal law if they cause more than £5000 of damage. The aim is to give councils the power to impose small civil fines against people who write on buildings with the intention of making money. The Scottish Parliament will vote on this proposal when it returns from its summer break in September 2017.
In the meantime, people who write on buildings in Scotland should take care not to go beyond what is necessary to create a meaningful expression. It is important to note that anyone who writes on private property without permission may be liable to prosecution or a civil claim.
The only exemption from liability under Scottish law is where someone is acting in good faith as an artistic or literary work. Therefore, even if you are trying to tag a building as a statement about war, racism, or poverty, you could still be sued.
Graffiti is considered an act of criminal damage in England and Wales under the Criminal Damage Act 1971, and perpetrators can face an unlimited fine. However, offenders are usually given a milder punishment, such as a written warning or community service.
In Scotland, graffiti is regarded as a crime against property and therefore falls under the Police (Scotland) Act 1979. The penalty for graffiti writing is either a fine or imprisonment, depending on the nature of the writing and the previous criminal history of the offender. For example, if the writer is found guilty of another crime within six months of being sentenced for graffiti writing, they will be required to serve their sentence consecutively to that for the earlier conviction.
In Northern Ireland, graffiti is classified as malicious damage and is treated accordingly by the police.
Writing on public property is illegal without permission from the owner. If you are questioned by police about your activities, you should remain silent until you have spoken to a lawyer.
If you are arrested for graffiti writing, tell the officer immediately, and ask for a lawyer. They may offer you assistance free of charge if you cannot afford one.
However, police officers can decide not to prosecute if they believe that there are reasonable grounds for believing that no crime has been committed.
In Scotland, spray-painting buildings is illegal without consent from the owner or manager of the property. Failure to do so could result in a prison sentence of up to six months or a fine.
In Northern Ireland, graffiti is prohibited by law unless it is done as part of a permitted activity (such as tagging railway lines as part of a train racing event). The punishment for breaching this law is a fine of up to $5,000 or imprisonment for four months.
In Australia, graffiti is outlawed by state and territory laws with varied penalties ranging from fines to imprisonment. In addition, some cities have their own graffiti ordinances which may provide for more severe punishments. The National Graffiti Association estimates that 80% of urban artists tag public property with the aim of raising awareness about issues such as poverty or war. The other 20% do so as a form of protest.
In New Zealand, graffiti is outlawed by the Graffiti Control Act 2004.
Graffiti violations are punishable by law. Marking property can result in a fine of up to $440, or, in the case of an aggravated offense, a fine of $2,200 or 12 months in jail (Section 4). Possession of a graffiti tool with purpose can result in a fine of up to $1,100 or six months in jail (Section 5).
In addition, spray-painting buildings is illegal without the permission of the owner or operator of the building (Section 6).
Graffiti has many negative effects on society. It causes damage to property, including cars and houses. It can also harm people's feelings about their community and make them feel unsafe. Finally, graffiti takes time and money to clean up. It is therefore important for everyone's safety that no one goes to jail for graffiti.
What is the punishment for graffiti? Jail time? Fines? Both?
The crime of graffiti involves painting or otherwise creating artwork on public or private property with the intent to damage or deface it. The severity of this crime depends on several factors such as how much damage has been done, who is offended by the graffiti, and where the graffiti is located. Anyone can be charged with graffiti removal crimes if they knowingly participate in activities related to graffiti vandalism. Individuals who have a role in preventing graffiti vandalism can file charges against those they suspect of involvement.
The typical punishments for graffiti are 1-3 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000 or more, depending on the degree of the damage. Property damage of less than $400 is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in county prison and/or a $1,000 fine. Property damage over $400 but less than $20,000 is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in state prison and/or a $20,000 fine.
Graffiti has become a serious problem in many cities across the United States. In some cases, it is even considered art. The police use special tools to remove graffiti from buildings. The artists who create it usually do not intend to harm anyone when they spray paint walls or tags, but it can cause damage if people are forced to clean it up.
In addition to being illegal, creating graffiti can also result in fines and/or jail time. If you tag property that you do not own, you may be able to avoid prosecution by contacting the owner and taking down your artwork. Creating graffiti for commercial purposes without permission from the property owner may lead to further action including arrests and jail time.
Some cities have programs aimed at reducing graffiti through education and other methods. Participating individuals who write "clean" graffiti can receive prizes such as gift cards.
Graffiti is a class "A" misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison. The penalty increases to a class D felony if the value of the property damaged exceeds $5,000 or if the crime is committed with intent to defraud.
Individuals who commit graffiti crimes should know that they can be charged with both criminal damage to property and criminal mischief. Both crimes are classified as misdemeanors, but defendants may be sentenced as adults or placed in juvenile facilities if they have prior offenses or are being considered habitual offenders. Defendants also may be ordered to pay restitution to victims.
Defendants who write bad checks or use stolen credit cards to buy items which are then destroyed or sold without permission could be charged with theft crimes. Graffiti writers who intend to profit from their work could be charged with criminal trespass or burglary. People who write on public property without permission may be charged with criminal trespass. Those who paint buildings that are not their own may be able to argue that they had consent from the owner to enter the property, but not to paint.
If you have questions about whether your actions constitute graffiti or some other crime, it is important to seek legal counsel immediately after the incident.