the definitions of major common crimes in most jurisdictions (and definitely in Cali) are contained in pre-printed jury instruction books, CALJIC I believe is the set for Cal criminal cases. The definition doesn't change according to the "discretion" of the all-powerful bad guys, rather, it stays the same.
See instruction 2900 on Vandalism:
The defendant is charged [in Count ] with vandalism [in
violation of Penal Code section 594].
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must
1. The defendant maliciously (defaced with graffiti or with other
inscribed material[,]/ [or] damaged[,]/ [or] destroyed) (real/ [or]
2. The defendant (did not own the property/owned the property
with someone else)(;/.)
3. The amount of damage caused by the vandalism was $400 or
Someone acts maliciously when he or she intentionally does a wrongful
act or when he or she acts with the unlawful intent to annoy or injure
Graffiti or other inscribed material includes an unauthorized inscription,
word, figure, mark, or design that is written, marked, etched, scratched,
drawn, or painted on real or personal property.
New January 2006; Revised June 2007, February 2013
The court has a sua sponte duty to give this instruction defining the elements of
If the defendant is charged with a felony for causing $400 or more in damage and
the court is not instructing on the misdemeanor offense, give element 3. If the court
is instructing on both the felony and the misdemeanor offenses, give CALCRIM
No. 2901, Vandalism: Amount of Damage, with this instruction. (Pen. Code,
§ 594(b)(1).) The court should also give CALCRIM No. 2901 if the defendant is
charged with causing more than $10,000 in damage under Penal Code section
687 (Pub. 1284)
This version provided by LexisNexis® Matthew Bender®, Official Publisher, 800-533-1637,
So as you can see, there are many ways this could have been defeated without needing to nullify, in this particular case.
"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."-- Albert Einstein
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