The charge of destroying or damaging property is commonly known as ‘malicious damage’ and it involves destroying or damaging property either intentionally or recklessly. Usually the property is owned by someone else but you can also be convicted if you destroy or damage property that you jointly own with someone else.
The definition of destroying or damaging may seem obvious but it can also include what is known as “temporary functional derangement”. This means that the function or usefulness of an object has been interfered with. It may not be “damaged” in the usual sense but the object cannot do what it is meant to do because of some interference. Common examples are letting the air out of someone’s tyres or urinating in a police cell so that it cannot be used.
To prove the offence of destroy or damage property the prosecution must prove that the defendant, recklessly or intentionally, destroyed or damaged property belonging to either another person or the defendant and another person.
The penalties for this offence in the Local Court are up to 2 years imprisonment and fines of up to $11,000. The penalties are significantly higher if the matter is heard in the District Court or if the damage involves fire or explosives, or is committed during a public order incident or with the intent to injure someone.
If you are under investigation or have been arrested or charged for destroying or damaging property you should contact us for expert advice immediately. At Marsh Blom Lawyers we are former prosecutors and we have prosecuted countless destroying or damaging property charges. We know the law, the cases, and the defences to destroying or damaging property charges. Your first consultation is free and we offer fixed fees for most of our services.
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