Chick-Fil-A Graffiti Tastes Like Freedom ... No Jail for Artist

11/10/2012 5:50 AM PST

Graffiti Artist Manny Castro -- Tastes Like Freedom ... No Jail in Chick-Fil-A Case

Tastes like freedom for an L.A. artist who spray-painted the side of a Chik-fil-A restaurant with the words, "Tastes Like Hate" ... 'cause he just scored a major legal victory, avoiding any jail time.

Manual "Manny" Castro Jr. inked the Redondo Beach locale back in August ... after a Chik-fil-A honcho made comments against same-sex marriage. Manny owned up to the artwork in an interview and was promptly arrested. He faced up to a year in jail.

Manny struck the deal Friday, with the help of his lawyer Blair Berk, pleading no contest to misdemeanor vandalism.

He was placed on 3 years probation and had to cough up $400 in fines. He has to do 100 hours of community service.

Oh, and he's also banned from Chick-fil-A.