Self-Expression Can Mean Jail Time if You’re Not Careful

Self-Expression Can Mean Jail Time if You’re Not Careful

Driving through any city in California, you will more than likely see street art or graffiti. If you feel like you’ve never seen any graffiti or street art, strolled along Venice Beach and you’ll seen plenty. What you might not know is that there is a difference between the terms: street art and graffiti. Graffiti is illegal, whereas street art is legal as long as the artist has the correct permissions.

Graffiti is considered vandalism. The graffiti artist defaces property without obtaining permission from the owner of the property. When someone gets caught for vandalism they could be in serious trouble. Depending on the cost of the damage determines the amount of jail time and the size of the fine. A person can earn themselves one year in jail and a $50,000 fine.

If a person is under the age of 18 and decides to graffiti, they can get their parents in trouble as well. Parents are legally responsible for their kids until they turn 18, which means they are responsible for the child’s actions. According to California law, anyone under the age of 18 cannot buy aerosol paint containers and parents are liable for a $10,000 fine for their child’s misconduct.

If you’re a business or property owner, and your property has graffiti on it, you may find yourself in trouble. In the City of Los Angeles, there is an ordinance that declares graffiti as a public nuisance. This ordinance requires property owners to remove it from their property. If property owners fail to do so, they may be cited and charged by the city to remove it.

Graffiti is a nuisance, especially for property owners. However, street art can be creative and beautiful. If you’re looking to participate in a street art painting, or mural, you need to first gain the correct permissions. Some cities, like Los Angeles, require a special permit. Don’t tempt your fate for an art piece, do it by the law, or else you may need to call a bail bonds company.

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