Destroy or Damage Property

Lawyers NSW

 What is Intentionally or Recklessly Destroy or Damage Property?

This is an offence that is commonly referred to as ‘malicious damage’. It involves the destroying or damaging of property with intent.

Malicious Damage & The Law

Malicious Damage is an offence under Section 195 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

What the Prosecution need to Prove (Beyond a Reasonable Doubt):

  • The accused intentionally or recklessly destroyed or damaged property; and

  • That property belonged to the victim or someone else


It is necessary for the Prosecution to prove who owned the property.

What is Property?

Property can be defined as any real or personal property, which can include money, legacy funds, debts, and valuable securities.

Examples of Malicious Damage:

  • Defacing of a shop front through the painting of graffiti

  • Erasing computer data from a laptop belonging to another person

  • Intentionally damaging someone else’s house or car

  • Breaking an ex-partner’s mobile phone during a domestic dispute

Going to Court – “What am I looking at?”

If you have been charged with Intentionally or Reckless Destroy or Damage Property, you will have to go before the Court, and if convicted, you will receive a criminal record, and potential further severe penalties such as community service or time in custody.

If the value of the destroyed or damaged property is less than $2000, the maximum penalty is only a fine of up to $2,200.

If the value of the destroyed or damaged property is more than $2000 but less than $5000, the offence carries a maximum penalty of $5,500 fine and/or 1 year imprisonment in the Local Court.

If the value of the destroyed or damaged property is more than $5000, the offence carries a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment in the Local Court.

In many cases involving a charge of Malicious Damage, custodial sentences will not be imposed, but rather the a range of sentencing options may include either a Community Correction Order ("CCO") or a Conditional Release Order ("CRO"), whereby the matter can be discharged under a bond or undertaking to the Court that no further offences will be committed without the need for a conviction and a criminal record.

It is highly recommended to speak to an expert Defence solicitor if you have been charged with this offence, for a clear explanation of the specific evidentiary rules on how this offence is applied and also defended on the particular Police Facts.

Lawyer Call – here to help..

At Lawyer Call, we consider each matter on its own merit, and understand the intricacies of conducting powerful pleas before a Magistrate, where should you wish to plead guilty, our lawyers have an impeccable strike rate of assisting clients avoid criminal convictions.

Our Defence Criminal solicitors have in-depth preparation in gathering and analysing specific medical and supporting documentation to assist your case and make relevant sentencing submissions addressing the early plea of guilty, the value of the item, the circumstances of the offence, as well as any subjective factors that will present an overall picture to achieve the best possible outcome before a Magistrate and obtain a more lenient sentence.

Our Online Legal Conferencing Service, together with our dedicated correspondence and face to face consultations are just only some of the reasons Lawyer Call is the Defence Team you want on your side.

At every stage of this process, our lawyers will provide useful legal advice, strong representation in Court, masterful negotiation skills with Police and continuous personal support for you and your family throughout this trying time.

Call us today and together we will put up the right fight. 





“I cannot begin to thank Paul for his tireless efforts with my case. Would recommend them anybody with a criminal matter their clear communication and expert advice got me my best possible outcome”


—  Casey, Nurse


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