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Malicious damage of property


Contact Armstrong Legal:
Sydney: (02) 9261 4555

John Sutton
Craig Robinson
Michal Mantaj
Andrew Tiedt
Mariah Maltezos
Nicholas Breen
Sarah Marinovic
Michael Hempsall

The maximum penalty for the charge of malicious damage to property (Section 195[1] of the Crimes Act) is five years imprisonment.

In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for an malicious damage to property charge.

You'll find a brief description of each of these penalties at the bottom of this page.

Local Court

Based on our experience and statistics from the Judicial Commission of New South Wales we believe that the penalty in a case that is within the mid range of seriousness for the offence of malicious damage of property, if heard in the Local Court, is likely to be a fine of $500.

For first time offenders the likely penalty is a fine of $450.

District Court

If the matter is finalised in the District Court the likely penalty is a good behaviour bond with supervision under section 9 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act for a period of 2 years.

For first time offenders the likely penalty is a community service order for a period of 250 hours.

Which court will hear your Malicious damage of property charge in NSW:

Where the value of the property charged exceeds $5000, this matter is a Table 1 offence which means that either the DPP or an accused can elect to have the matter dealt with in the District Court. If no election is made it will be dealt with in the Local Court.

Where the value of the property charged does not exceed $5000, this matter is a Table 2 offence which means that the DPP can elect to have the matter dealt with in the District Court. If no election is made it will be dealt with in the Local Court.

What is the law part and the short description?

On the police facts sheet and the court attendance notice that you may have received you will have a reference to the law part and a short description of offence. These references help the court and the legal profession to identify the exact offence you have been charged with. The law part and short description for this offence are set out in the table below:

Law Part Short Description
821 Destroy or damage property
64883 Destroy or damage property (DV)
64882 Destroy or damage property <=$2000 (DV)-T2
820 Destroy or damage property <=$2000-T2
64881 Destroy or damage property >$ 2000 & <=$ 5000 (DV)-T2
819 Destroy or damage property >$ 2000 & <=$ 5000-T2
64880 Destroy or damage property >$ 5000 & <=$15000 (DV)-T1
818 Destroy or damage property >$ 5000 & <=$15000-T1
64879 Destroy or damage property >$15000 (DV)-T1
817 Destroy or damage property >$15000-T1
826 Damage property by fire/explosion
64888 Damage property by fire/explosion (DV)
64887 Damage property by fire/explosion <=$2000 (DV)-T2
825 Damage property by fire/explosion <=$2000-T2
64886 Damage property by fire/explosion >$ 2000 &<=$ 5000 (DV)-T2
824 Damage property by fire/explosion >$ 2000 &<=$ 5000-T2
64885 Damage property by fire/explosion >$ 5000 &<=$15000 (DV)-T1
823 Damage property by fire/explosion >$ 5000 &<=$15000-T1
64884 Damage property by fire/explosion >$15000 (DV)-T1
822 Damage property by fire/explosion >$15000-T1

What the police must prove:

To convict you of a malicious damage to property charge, the police must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. You destroyed or damaged property.
  2. The property belonged to another person, or the accused and another person.
  3. The destruction or damage was done maliciously.

They will also need to prove that you were the person who committed the malicious damage to property offence.

Possible defences for Malicious damage of property

Possible defences to an malicious damage to property charge include but are not limited to:

Types of penalties:

Section 10 for an malicious damage to property charge: avoiding a criminal record. Normally, when you plead guilty to a criminal offence, the court imposes a penalty and records a conviction. If the court records a conviction, you will have a criminal record. However, if we can convince the court not to convict you, there will be no penalty of any type and no criminal record. In all criminal cases, the court has the discretion not to convict you, but to give you a Section 10 dismissal instead. Read more.

Fines for an malicious damage to property charge: When deciding the amount of a fine for a malicious damage to property charge the magistrate or judge should consider your financial situation and your ability to pay any fine they set. Read more.

Good behaviour bond for an malicious damage to property charge: This is an order of the court that requires you to be of good behaviour for a specified period of time. The court will impose conditions that you will have to obey during the term of the good behaviour bond. The maximum duration of a good behaviour bond is five years. Read more.

Community service order for an malicious damage to property charge. (CSO): This involves either unpaid work in the community at a place specified by probation and parole or attendance at a centre to undertake a course, such as anger management. In order to be eligible for a CSO you have to be assessed by an officer of the probation service as suitable to undertake the order. Read more.

Suspended sentence for an malicious damage to property charge: This is a jail sentence that is suspended upon you entering into a good behaviour bond. Provided the terms of the good behaviour bond are obeyed the jail sentence will not come into effect. A suspended sentence is only available for sentences of imprisonment of up to two years. Read more.

Periodic detention for an malicious damage to property charge (commonly known as weekend detention): This form of imprisonment ceased to be a sentencing option in October 2010.

Intensive correction order for an malicious damage to property charge (ICO): This option has replaced periodic detention. The court can order you to comply with a number of conditions, such as attending counselling or treatment, not consuming alcohol, complying with a curfew and performing community service. Read more.

Jail for an malicious damage to property charge: This is the most serious penalty for the charge of malicious damage to property and involves full time detention in a correctional facility. Read more.


where to next ?

1300 168 676

If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.

Why Choose Armstrong Legal?

Contact Armstrong Legal:
Sydney: (02) 9261 4555