on the object of misdemeanour vandalism committed by placing graffiti within the meaning of section 371(2) b) ba) of the Criminal Code and causing damage not exceeding regulatory offence value threshold, as well as on the determination of the damage caused by an act of vandalism
- Graffiti, by which the placing of a coating on a surface is meant, constitutes a punishable conduct essentially from the aspect of protecting the interest in the undisturbed outer appearance of an attacked property owned by others.
- The placing of graffiti on a surface meets the statutory elements of the offence of vandalism if the perpetrator makes an alteration – for example by placing a sign, a figure or an inscription – to the surface of the object against which the offence is committed, namely any public or private property owned by others, more specifically a movable or immovable property having a monetary value, without the permission of the owner or the person entitled to manage the property [section 371(1), (2)(b)(ba) of the Criminal Code].
- The placing of graffiti is not an independent criminal conduct but a manner of commission regulated by the law as an aggravated case and having relevance in the characterisation of the criminal act, which characterisation is linked to the size of the damage caused by the act. In the case of graffiti, the content, nature, and purpose of the depiction on the property is irrelevant; the mere fact of its being placed on the surface of the property constitutes an aggravated case.
- The alteration of a surface by scribbling, painting (overpainting), staining (pouring), the change of the state of the property also amounts to damaging the property, and thus falls under the notion of damage to property, given that it changes the appearance of the original surface and the restoration of the original state is only possible at a financial cost. In this case, the cost of restoring the original condition constitutes the damage caused by vandalism [section 371(1), (7) and section 459(1), 16) of the Criminal Code].