Fiona Ma for State Assembly

Schwarzenegger Signs Graffiti Vandalism Legislation

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation on Wed­nesday to hold offenders accountable for crimes of vandalism and to remove graffiti from California's streets and neighborhoods. AB1767 by Assemblymember Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco) mandates community service for a person who has committed a criminal act of graffiti vandalism, and AB2609 by Assemblymember Mike Davis (D- Los Angeles ) requires defendants convicted of graffiti vandalism to clean up or repair the defaced or damaged property.

''As Governor, I have made the safety of our communities my top priority,'' Governor Schwarzenegger said. ''By cleaning up graffiti and holding offenders accountable for their actions, this legislation will make our streets and neighborhoods a safer and cleaner place to live.''

AB 1767 authorizes the courts in San Francisco to launch a pilot program where violators of graffiti vandalism are ordered to participate in a minimum of 24 hours of community service, when available, if they have reached a civil compromise with the victim. This law targets graffiti abatement service programs as the community service outlet for offenders and remains in effect until January 1, 2012.

Similarly, AB 2609 requires the court to order offenders paroled for a graffiti violation to clean up, repair or replace the damaged property. Defendants would also be required keep the damaged property or another specified property in the community free of graffiti for up to one year.