Knoxville Vandalism Defense Lawyers


If you have been charged with a vandalism crime in Tennessee, you are facing the possibility of jail time and hefty fines. This why you will want an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side who can apprise you of your rights while mounting a strong defense.

Definition of Vandalism

What is the crime of vandalism? Under Tennessee law, it is a crime for any individual who knowingly or intentionally causes damage to or destroys any real or personal property of another, of the state of Tennessee, a city, county or the United States, knowing that the person does not have the owner's effective consent. The term "damage" includes but is not limited to destroying, polluting or contaminating the property or tampering with property and causing economic loss or substantial inconvenience to the owner or another person.

"Polluting" means the contamination by man-made or man-induced alteration of the chemical, physical, biological or radiological integrity of the atmosphere, water or soil to the material injury of the right of another. Pollutants include dredged soil, solid waste, incinerator residue, sewage, garbage or discarded equipment, rock, sand, cellar dirt and industrial, municipal and agricultural waste. (Tennessee Code Annotated Section 39-14-408).


The punishment for vandalism depends on the extent of damage and the value of the property that has been defaced, damaged or destroyed. The types of punishment are generally as follows:

Other Vandalism Crimes

The General Assembly of Tennessee has also enacted various provisions throughout the code relating to the act of vandalizing state or private property. T.C.A. § 11-5-108 specifically makes it offense for any person, without the permission of the owner to knowingly vandalize a cave or cavern. Unlawful acts include breaking, breaking off, cracking, carving, or writing upon natural material found within a cave or cavern. It is also unlawful to kill, harm or disturb any plant, animal or artifact found in a cave. Penalties for this crime are similar to the penalties under the general vandalism statute.

It is also a crime under T.C.A. § 11-6-109 to excavate, damage, vandalize or remove any artifact or structure found on a site listed in the Tennessee register of archaeological sites without first obtaining landowner permission. A violation of this statute is a Class A misdemeanor.

Under T.C.A. § 54-1-134, it is also unlawful to vandalize highway structures. Acts of vandalism of a highway structure include any defacement or removal of highway structures such as a highway bridge, overpass, tunnel, fence, traffic control device or sign. Violation of this statute is a Class A misdemeanor. However, a second conviction results in a felony.

Under T.C.A. § 40-39-304, the General Assembly has made it a Class A misdemeanor for anyone to help someone remove or tamper with a "location tracking device" issued pursuant to a tracking and crime correlation based monitoring and supervision program.

Defending Your Rights

If you are facing a vandalism charge in Tennessee, you need a skilled and knowledgeable Knoxville vandalism defense attorney who has the experience and expertise to get you out of a tough situation. Vandalism can be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the extent of the damages. A felony can go on your permanent record and jeopardize your employment prospects, career and future. A conviction could have a long-term negative impact on your life. If you or someone you love has been accused of vandalism, please call Baker Associates for a free consultation.

Complete the form below if you have been charged with vandalism. An attorney at our office near Knoxville and Pigeon Forge will contact you soon.

Anti-spam question:

To view this, you need to install the Flash Player 9. Please go to here and download it.

Launch Video Website

Knox County
2126 First Tennessee Plaza
800 South Gay Street
Knoxville, Tennessee 37929

Phone: (865) 521-0001
Toll-free: (866) 853-2888

Sevier County
121 Court Avenue
Sevierville, Tennessee 37862

Phone: (865) 546-6000
Toll-free: (866) 853-2888

Washington County
300 East Main Street
Johnson City, Tennessee 37601

Knoxville Vandalism Crime Law Firm Disclaimer: The vandalism or other legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case. Please contact a criminal defense attorney at our Tennessee law firm. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of Tennessee.

Copyright © 2019 Baker & Associates - Serving Tennessee, including East Tennessee, Sevierville, and Knoxville.