Graffiti is an act of vandalism that occurs in public place. It is also illegal graffiti and it has a monetary value and it is considered a crime under the Criminal Code when it results in injury to human persons or property. The following are some definitions from the criminal justice law:
Any written, stencil or etched message that contains words, letters, numbers, shapes, pictograms or other pictorial matter and which is intentionally written, etched, printed, etched, or printed by means of a permanent or temporary material of paint, metal, plastic or any other means. These messages shall include but not be limited to:
words, letters, numbers, shapes, pictograms, words, letters or numbers (including the numbers of the Canadian currency), words, letters or numbers (including the names of any Canadian or international organisations) in an alphabetical, numerical, pictorial, pictorial sign form, as well as any sign or any symbol used as a form of identification or identification number. Note: If the markings are used for identification or identification number purpose only, their use shall not be considered graffiti;
objects resembling or containing any sign, symbol or writing that is considered vandalism; or
objects that have been used for industrial purposes without proper permits, which includes, but is not limited to, the use of any object in connection with oil fields, hydroelectric dams, gas wells, quarries, canals, canals or ditches.
In most cases, graffiti is considered a minor offence and the penalty can be fine up to $500, imprisonment of up to six months or a year, or both. However in cases of criminal charges, it is mandatory for the police to record the amount of the graffiti that was written and whether it was vandalism or not.
Is the penalty higher for graffiti?
Even though the penalty for graffiti is lower, it is always important to know the penalty. When it comes to graffiti and the law, the penalty for graffiti is usually much more serious than for other types of vandalism.
While there is no special law that prohibits graffiti as a crime, it is considered to be a crime and is a very serious offense. The following is an example:
A person is found guilty of graffiti as charged under the Criminal Code in the City of Ottawa. The fine to be imposed is approximately one thousand dollars and the person will be incarcerated for one year if the fine is not paid up within four months
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