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You don't need to actually tag a building to be charged with a graffiti-related crime in Los Angeles. If you just intend to commit an act of vandalism, mere possession of tools or other items that you were going to use in the act is enough to get you charged with a crime.


California Penal Code Section 594.2 makes it a California misdemeanor to possess any of the following items with the intent to commit vandalism or graffiti:

  • a masonry or glass drill bit
  • a carbide drill bit
  • a glass cutter
  • a grinding stone
  • an awl
  • a chisel
  • a carbide scribe
  • an aerosol paint container
  • a felt tip marker, or
  • any other marking substance  

For the purposes of Section 594.2:

a “Felt tip marker” means any broad-tipped marker pen with a tip exceeding three-eighths of one inch in width, or any similar implement containing an ink that is not water soluble, and
a “Marking substance” means any substance or implement, other than aerosol paint containers and felt tip markers, that could be used to draw, spray, paint, etch, or mark.
A conviction for violating this Penal Code provision in Los Angeles could result in

  • a sentence of up to one year in the Los Angeles County Jail
  • a maximum fine of $1,000
  • informal (otherwise known as "summary") probation.
  • Additionally, as a condition of probation for any violation of this section, the court may order the defendant to perform up to 90 hours of community service during a time other than his or her hours of school attendance or employment.

If you have been charged with a crime relating to graffiti or vandalism in Los Angeles, please give one of our skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys a call today to discuss your situation.

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Gerald Schwab, Jr.


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Law Office of Gerald Schwab, Jr.
Fresno Criminal Defense Attorney
5588 N Palm Ave,
Fresno, CA 93704
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Phone: 559.441.1418