Stop Sign Vandalism Charges
A stop sign is usually installed at busy intersections and crossroads to ensure that drivers bring their cars to a complete halt, check whether the coast is clear and only then proceed forward. Unfortunately not all drivers come to a complete stop. Rather they do a rolling stop and this is mainly because they are impatient and do not want to waste time coming to a complete stop.
What many drivers do not realize that while helping to avert car accidents, stop signs are also present to ensure that pedestrians can cross the road easily. Most pedestrians seeing a stop sign will step onto the road assuming that the driver will stop seeing them. Unfortunately many pedestrians are killed due to this assumption as majority of the cars run stop signs.
Sometimes youngsters resort to stealing or vandalizing stop signs. Usually these acts are done on a dare or just for the fun of it. Vandalizing is done in the form of painting graffiti or using the stop sign for target practice. Often youngsters or people resorting to stop sign vandalism do not realize the effect of their artwork. Vandalizing a stop sign can lead to accidents as drivers will not be able to see the sign clearly.
Stop sign vandalism charges are dependent on the whether the act caused an injury or death. Therefore, based on each state's penal code, stop sign vandalism charges can be misdemeanor or felony. A person can be fined and/or incarcerated depending upon his prior criminal history. It goes without saying that prior charges and conviction of vandalism will result in a higher fine and longer incarceration period compared to the first violation.
In addition, the person responsible for defacing the sign could also be made to clean up or repair the damage done, or he or she may be asked to ensure that the sign is graffiti-free for a certain period of time.
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