If you are found guilty (or plead guilty) to malicious damage to property, depending upon the circumstances of the offence, and your previous criminal history, the Court may impose a heavy fine and imprisonment.

Malicious Damage to Property Lawyers in NSW

Our Criminal Law Team can assist you with matters related to malicious damage to property, we have the experience and expertise necessary to ensure you receive the best possible outcome.

We’ve been defending the people of Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Central Coast and the Hunter region since 1969 and have helped our clients to achieve the best possible outcomes in all Criminal Law matters.

We are used to dealing with the Police and know all the ‘ins and outs’ of the Courts and Justice system.

If you have been charged with damage to property, contact our Criminal Law Team today to book a teleconference or appointment. We’ll fight vigorously to protect your freedom and rights.

What is a ‘Malicious Damage to Property’ offence and what are the penalties?

There are a significant number of offences that deal with the destruction of property under the Crimes Act (NSW). The most common is a charge under Section 195 of the Crimes Act, being malicious damage of property.

If the damage of property is in excess of $5,000, either the person charged with the offence or the prosecution can elect to have the matter heard before the District Court by way of jury trial. If the property damaged does not exceed $5,000, then it is likely that the matter will be heard in the Local Court unless the prosecution makes an election.

The penalties available are determined upon the value of the property damaged. If the value of the property does not exceed $2,000, the maximum penalty that can be imposed is a fine of $2,200. If the value of the property is between $2,000-$5,000, the maximum penalty that can be imposed is 12 months imprisonment or a fine of $5,500. If the value of the property exceeds $5,000, the maximum penalty that can be imposed is two years imprisonment.

If found guilty of this offence, a three stage test applies, being:

  1. You must destroy or damage property.
  2. The property belongs to another person.
  3. That action must be done intentionally or recklessly.

What is Property defined as?

Property is defined in section 4 of the Crimes Act. It includes:

  • All real and personal property;
  • Money, valuable securities, debts, and legacies;
  • All deeds and instruments relating to, or evidencing the title or right to any property, or giving a right to recover or receive any money or goods.

What are common examples of malicious damage to property?

Common examples of malicious damage to property include:

  • Someone damaging their ex-partner’s car
  • Someone breaking into a house and damaging the house in the process
  • Someone wiping a computer hard-drive of important information
  • Someone spray painting graffiti on a business storefront

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