Graffiti vandalism is a Crime and violators can be severely punished. Vandals may be sentenced to up to six months in a correctional facility, be required to perform community service, pay as much as $1,000 in fines, make restitution to the victimized property owner for the amount of the damage, and/or attend educational classes. In addition, juveniles may lose their drivers licenses or have their driving privileges deferred. Parents of taggers may also be ordered to pay fines and restitution and attend educational classes or participate in community service with their juvenile.
San Diego Municipal Code Section 54.0401 through 54.0413 (PDF) define graffiti and also outline the procedures used to combat graffiti.
New City Ordinance
In November 2000, the San Diego City Council amended the City's Graffiti Ordinance to revise the official definition of "graffiti" as follows:
"Graffiti means any unauthorized inscription, word, figure, picture, or design that is sprayed, marked, cut, posted, pasted or otherwise affixed, drawn or painted on any surface of public or private property."