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The charge of intentionally or recklessly destroy or damage property is commonly known as “malicious damage”. It is an offence that is dealt with in the local court, before a magistrate.

Your options

Plead not guilty

In order to be convicted of this offence, the police must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

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

If any of the above elements cannot be proven beyond reasonable doubt, then you will be found not guilty of the offence.

Remember, the prosecution must prove that the property belonged to someone else, or you and someone else. This means, that they cannot prove the charge against you unless they can prove who owned the property.

You cannot be guilty of destroying your own property!

If the above elements can be proven beyond reasonable doubt, you will still be found not guilty if any of the following defences can be established:

Our experienced criminal lawyers will advise you of your prospects of successfully defending any charge brought against you and fight to have you found not guilty of the offence.

Plead guilty

If you agree with what the police are alleging against you, the way to get the best result is often to plead guilty as it demonstrates remorse and contrition as well as meaning that you will be entitled to a discount on your sentence.

What is the penalty for intentionally or recklessly destroy damage property?

If this was your first offence, you will have a good opportunity to have the matter dealt with by way of a Section 10. Whilst it is not a trivial offence, magistrates will be open to a Section 10 argument.

The offence of Intentionally or recklessly destroy property 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. However, Intentionally or recklessly destroy property is an offence frequently dealt with pursuant to section 10 of the Crimes (Sentence Procedure) Act, meaning no conviction will be recorded, there is no other penalty and you will have no criminal record. To find out more about a section 10, click here.

Generally, penalties that a court can impose for any criminal offence in NSW are:

Our client was charged with Maliciously Damage of property.

His wife claimed that he broke a portable radio that belonged to her, in the course of a domestic dispute between him and her.

Our client insisted that the radio belonged to him, and therefore he could not be guilty of any criminal offence of destroying his own property. It was his word against her’s.

The matter proceeded to defended hearing before the Downing Centre Local Court in February 2013. Before the hearing we obtained our client’s credit card statements at the time in which he purchased the stereo.

The statement clearly showed a purchase of a product from JB Hifi World Square on the date our client said he bought the stereo.

We then obtained proof of purchase from JB Hi fi, which confirmed a purchase of that model stereo on that date.

After the evidence was heard, the magistrate accepted our client’s version of events, and dismissed the charge of malicious damage against our client.

Our client was charged with recklessly destroying property namely her neighbor’s front door gate. It was alleged our client kicked the door three times causing the colorbond panel to fall out of its frame.

Our client instructed us to plead not guilty on the basis that it was the alleged victim who slammed the gate, was the one that caused the panel to fall out of its frame.

We also argued that the damage to the panel had already occurred prior to the incident taking place.

The matter proceeded to a defended hearing at Blacktown Local Court.

The victim and her son gave evidence that our client damaged the fence. After rigorous cross examination by our solicitor, the victim conceded that the gate had been previously damaged and that the victim “may have slammed” the gate.

Our client gave evidence that she did not kick the gate as alleged by the victim, but rather it was the victim that damaged the gate.

Magistrate Seagrave was not convinced ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ that our client destroyed the gate and hence, the matter was dismissed against our client.

Our client was charged with common assault and destroy property. The allegation was that our client had choked the alleged victim and kicked open her door. Our client instructed us to enter a plea of guilty to the destroy property charge and not guilty to the common assault charge, which our client vigorously denied.

On the day of the Hearing at Burwood Local Court, the prosecution sought an adjournment to get their case better prepared. Our solicitor strongly opposed the adjournment application and the magistrate agreed that the adjournment should not be granted. The charge of common assault was dismissed as no evidence was offered.

In relation to the plea of guilty to the charge of destroy property, the matter proceeded to sentence and our solicitor successfully argued that our client was provoked and that the court should deal with the matter under Section 10.

The court agreed with our solicitors’ submissions and found the offence proved but dismissed without recording a conviction. Our client was very happy with the result. A conviction would have put an end to his future ambition to work in the airline industry.

Our client was charged with intimidation, assault, and damage property.

It was alleged that our client engaged in a sustained attack against his partner including at one point using a coke bottle to strike the victim to the head six times causing bruising and swelling to the victim.

Further it was alleged our client had destroyed her computer equipment and made a number of violent threats.

The matter proceeded to sentence at Parramatta Local Court and our solicitor argued that our client was provoked after being slapped to the face by his partner and that these offences were out of character.

Further it was submitted that convictions would put a end to our clients medical career as an aspiring Doctor.

The court agreed that it could find provocation, and decided not to put an end to our clients medical career.

Our client was placed on long bonds pursuant to Section 10.

Our client was charged with intimidation, assault, and damage property.

It was alleged that our client engaged in a sustained attack against his partner including at one point using a coke bottle to strike the victim to the head six times causing bruising and swelling to the victim. Further it was alleged our client had destroyed her computer equipment and made a number of violent threats.

The matter proceeded to sentence at Parramatta Local Court and our solicitor argued that our client was provoked after being slapped to the face by his partner and that these offences were out of character. Further it was submitted that convictions would put an end to our client’s medical career.

The court agreed that it could find provocation, and decided not to put an end to our client’s medical career.

Our client was placed on long bonds pursuant to Section 10.

Our client was charged with common assault and destroying property. It was alleged our client had heavily thrown the victim who was a shop keeper to the floor twice and destroyed a number of items in the shop.

Our client instructed our firm that he was suffering from severe depression and had acted out of character after an argument with the shop keeper.

The matter proceeded before Magistrate Prowse at Liverpool for sentence.

Our solicitor tendered evidence of our clients mental health and evidence that he was being treated for his depression. Further evidence of our clients good character was tendered and it was submitted the court could deal with this matter pursuant to section 10.

The court agreed and imposed a bond pursuant to section 10 for a period of 18 months.

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Achieving results one case at a time

Highly recommend! Joseph handled my case and got the result he said i would, communication was great and his advice on what to do to help my case was great, dont hesitate to give them a call if you ever need legal help.

Todd Hurring

Ly Lawyers
5.0
2017-06-25T22:46:32+00:00

Todd Hurring

Highly recommend! Joseph handled my case and got the result he said i would, communication was great and his advice on what to do to help my case was great, dont hesitate to give them a call if you ever need legal help.

Achieving results one case at a time

Want to say a big thanks to Adam and the team, was looking at jail without a doubt, already had 2 other common assaults, a GBH, and a fair few other charges on my record and facing another GBH. Never done jail before and thought this was my time for sure. Great service from them, Adam always answered my calls and step me through everything the whole way. Managed to stay out of jail with a ICO order, big win, thanks again, highly recommend

Breno T.

Ly Lawyers
5.0
2017-06-25T22:53:27+00:00

Breno T.

Want to say a big thanks to Adam and the team, was looking at jail without a doubt, already had 2 other common assaults, a GBH, and a fair few other charges on my record and facing another GBH. Never done jail before and thought this was my time for sure. Great service from them, Adam always answered my calls and step me through everything the whole way. Managed to stay out of jail with a ICO order, big win, thanks again, highly recommend

Achieving results one case at a time

I just wanted to say a big thank you to LY Lawyers. My husband just got his sentence at Parramatta District Court last week, expecting to be in jail a lot longer. He was charged with supplying commercial drugs. LY Lawyers represented him with great passion and commitment, all of their staff chipping in to get a short sentence. Only a year to go before he gets out!

Kim Smith

Ly Lawyers
5.0
2017-06-25T22:53:58+00:00

Kim Smith

I just wanted to say a big thank you to LY Lawyers. My husband just got his sentence at Parramatta District Court last week, expecting to be in jail a lot longer. He was charged with supplying commercial drugs. LY Lawyers represented him with great passion and commitment, all of their staff chipping in to get a short sentence. Only a year to go before he gets out!

Achieving results one case at a time

It was a pleasure to work with LY Lawyers. They got me off from my charge. Could not thank them enough!

William Song

Ly Lawyers
5.0
2017-06-25T22:54:34+00:00

William Song

It was a pleasure to work with LY Lawyers. They got me off from my charge. Could not thank them enough!

Achieving results one case at a time

Joseph was amazing and did a fine job representing me in my case. He got the job done and got me the result I wanted.

Habib Rahman

Ly Lawyers
5.0
2017-06-25T22:55:09+00:00

Habib Rahman

Joseph was amazing and did a fine job representing me in my case. He got the job done and got me the result I wanted.

Achieving results one case at a time

Joseph you did an amazing job representing me at Sydney District court . My prior lawyer didn't do anything for me in the local court, but u guys were great in the district court. Thanks for being patient with me too.

Josh Tyler

Ly Lawyers
5.0
2017-06-25T22:56:43+00:00

Josh Tyler

Joseph you did an amazing job representing me at Sydney District court . My prior lawyer didn't do anything for me in the local court, but u guys were great in the district court. Thanks for being patient with me too.

Achieving results one case at a time

I just wanted to say thank you for helping me with my case and THANK YOU for the section 10!

Craig H

Ly Lawyers
5.0
2017-06-25T22:57:53+00:00

Craig H

I just wanted to say thank you for helping me with my case and THANK YOU for the section 10!

Achieving results one case at a time

The team at LY Lawyers were great to deal with, after getting charged with a minor offence. The costs were upfront and affordable. Communication was great and I felt like they really cared about me. If I was ever in trouble again they would be my first point of call for help.

Sarah Davies

Ly Lawyers
5.0
2017-02-01T00:09:03+00:00

Sarah Davies

The team at LY Lawyers were great to deal with, after getting charged with a minor offence. The costs were upfront and affordable. Communication was great and I felt like they really cared about me. If I was ever in trouble again they would be my first point of call for help.

Achieving results one case at a time

What a result from a great team!

Adam handled my case and put everything he had into it. He's a great lawyer at affordable fees. Would highly recommend.

John L.

Ly Lawyers
5.0
2017-02-01T01:38:38+00:00

John L.

What a result from a great team! Adam handled my case and put everything he had into it. He's a great lawyer at affordable fees. Would highly recommend.
5.0
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