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Attorney Christopher T. Adams

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What are ‘graffiti’ charges and why are they serious?

Vandalism refers to the destruction or defacing of another person’s property without their permission. ‘Graffiti’ charges are a type of vandalism that may carry significant penalties and consequences for individuals accused of graffiti crimes. In Georgia, graffiti can include words, inscriptions, figures, paintings or other defacements of property. In addition, graffiti can be written, marked, drawn, painted, sprayed, etched, scratched or engraved, or in any other way affixed, to property without the permission of the owner of the property or the occupant of the property.

Specifically, possession of instruments that can be used to cause graffiti damage may lead to graffiti charges, and can include aerosol paints cans, a paint stick, graffiti stick, broad-tipped marker, brush, gum label, etching equipment or other instrument that may leave a visible mark on a surface or scar a surface. In our legal system, the protection of property is taken seriously, which is why graffiti or other vandalism charges may result in serious penalties and consequences for individuals accused of vandalism and graffiti-related crimes.

Our legal system also values the protection of accused individuals, which is why individuals accused of a crime have important rights and enjoy important protections they should be familiar with. The rights of an accused individual begin while a crime is being investigated and continue when an individual is arrested, which usually triggers the individual’s interaction with the criminal justice system. Procedures must be followed when investigating crimes, making an arrest for a crime, as well as following an arrest as the accused individual makes his or her way through the criminal justice process and to trial, if required.

It is essential for individuals accused of any crime, including property crimes, to be familiar with how to protect and exercise their rights during the criminal justice process. All accused individuals are afforded important protections and rights, including the right to defend against the charges they are facing and the crimes they are accused of.

Source:, “2010 Georgia Code TITLE 17 – CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CHAPTER 15A – COMPENSATION FOR CRIMINALLY INFLICTED PROPERTY DAMAGE § 17-15A-2 – ‘Graffiti’ defined,” Accessed Aug. 29, 2016


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