Legal Dictionary

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Possession of Vandalism Tools

It is a crime in California to possess vandalism tools with the intent to commit vandalism. Vandalism tools are the instruments used to vandalize someone else's property. Vandalism is defined as the malicious damaging, destroying, or defacing of public or private property. Possession of vandalism tools is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000, and is prosecuted under California Penal Code section 594.2. Vandalism tools include the following:

  • Drill bits
  • Glass cutter
  • Grinding stone
  • Etching tool
  • Chisel
  • Aerosol container
  • Felt tip marker
  • Spray paint container
  • Other cutting or marking substances coupled with the intent to commit vandalism.

The law defines a "felt tip marker" as any broad tip marker pen with a tip exceeding 3/8 of one inch in width, or any similar implement containing an ink that is not water soluble. A "marking substance" means any substance or implement, other than a felt tip marker or aerosol paint container, that could be used to draw, spray, paint, etch, or mark. The possession of any of these types of vandalism tools is not by itself a crime. It is the possession along with the criminal intent that makes it a crime.

If you or someone you know is being investigated or charged with possession of vandalism tools, consult with a defense attorney before going to court.