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Name: People v. Wallace
Case #: F042778
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 10/19/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. den. 1/26/05

A spouse may be criminally liable for vandalism to a marital home. After his wife caught him smoking crack and ordered him out of the house, the defendant inflicted over $9,000 of damage to the house and over $6,000 of damage to the furnishings. A jury found him guilty of felony vandalism, and the appellate court affirmed. The court noted that vandalism differs from burglary and trespass due to the nature of the crime and the fact that vandalism necessarily harms the other spouse’s community property interests. The court thus declined to extend case law protecting married persons from convictions for burglary or trespass against marital property to charges of vandalism.