What is the Penalty for Intentionally or Recklessly Destroying or Damaging Property?

What is malicious damage to property?

The charge of intentionally or recklessly destroy damage property (also known as Malicious Damage to Property) is laid when you:

  1. Intentionally or recklessly destroyed or damaged property;
  2. Which belonged to someone else or yourself and another person.

Offences of malicious damage to property can arise often in domestic situations, where, in the heat of a domestic dispute, property belonging to another is damaged. Malicious damage charges often accompany charges of domestic assault and AVO proceedings.

For more information on malicious damage to property charges, how to defend them, and to see case studies where we have successfully represented our previous clients, click here.


What is the penalty for malicious damage to property?

The offence of malicious damage carries a maximum penalty of 1 year imprisonment in the Local Court if the damage does not exceed $5,000.00 and 2 years imprisonment in the Local Court if the damage exceeds $5,000.00. The maximum penalty in the District Court is 5 years imprisonment.

The penalty for malicious damage can range from a Section 10, to a fine or in serious cases of the offence, a term of full time imprisonment. For more information on the different types of penalties available, click here.


What is the penalty for malicious damage to property if it is your first offence?

If this was your first offence, you will have good prospects of not receiving a conviction, and having the case dealt with by way of a Section 10. Whilst it is not a trivial offence, magistrates will be open to a Section 10 argument.

You should have an experienced lawyer represent you at court, where, amongst other things you could argue:

1.   Your good character,

2.   Your personal circumstances,

3.   The reason for your offending,

4.   Any reparation you have made.

According to the statistics, 53% of first offenders receive a Section 10 for the offence of malicious damage!

For more information on Section 10, and to see case studies where we have achieved Section 10, click here. 


If you have been charged with Malicious Damage to Property, call one of our Criminal Lawyers on 1300 595 299 for a free consultation at one of our Sydney Offices.