This article was written by Michelle Makela - Legal Practice Director

Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning.  Michelle has been involved in all practice areas of the firm and in her personal practice has had experience in litigation at all levels (state and federal industrial tribunals, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, Federal...

Destroy/Damage Property with Intent to Endanger Life


In the Australian Capital Territory, it is an offence to destroy or damage someone else’s property with the intent of endangering another person’s life. If a person has allegedly destroyed or damaged property by using fire or explosives, it is likely they will be charged with this offence. The offence is contained in Section 116(1) of the Crimes Act 1900.

Destroy/damage property with intent to endanger life carries a maximum penalty of imprisonment for 20 years.

What Actions Might Constitute Damaging Property with Intent to Endanger Life?

Commonly, this charge is laid after someone destroys a house while another person is inside the residence. A person may also be charged with this offence if they intentionally crash a motor vehicle with the intent of endangering the life of the passengers.

What the Police Must Prove

To find a person guilty of this offence there are two elements that the Prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt. The person must have:

  • caused the destruction or damage of property; and
  • they intended to endanger the life of another person by that destruction or damage

Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?

If you have been charged with this offence it must be heard and determined by the ACT Supreme Court. The offence will start in the ACT Magistrates Court and will be committed to the Supreme Court.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

WHERE TO NEXT?

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.

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