Anastasia Qvist is an outstanding lawyer. My criminal law situation (family violence order) was difficult, complex and Ana's diligence saved me as I was going through the most difficult period of my life. Ana is down to earth, commonsense and she even kept our costs to a minimum. She is a skilled litigator and knows the ins and outs of the ACT Magistrates Court. She dealt skillfully with the DPP and is an excellent negotiator. You will get a fair representation and she genuinely cares about her clients. She has my complete recommendation. The lady goes to bat for her clients.
I would strongly recommend Anastasia to anyone who is seeking legal representation. As a first-time offender who was charged with a Level 2 Drink Driving offence, she walked me through every step of the matter and was very upfront and clear on all aspects of my case. She was always accessible when I needed advice. Her approach and advice were excellent. Under her representation, I received the best possible outcome and managed to avoid a criminal conviction. She was a pleasure to deal with throughout the whole matter.
Anastasia Qvist was very professional and helpful in every step of my matter. I got a very good outcome and I can’t thank you enough for your hard work and the Armstrong Legal team in Canberra. I would highly recommend her!!!
Throughout Angela has been the consummate professional. She maintained a calm, yet strong demeanour remained informative and completely open in her communication and took complete ownership of the situation. We felt confident we finally had an advocate to steer us out of the nightmare we were in, and she did so with great respect and sincerity. I cannot speak more highly of Angela. She has literally rescued our family from what looked very much like a hopeless future.
Words can’t describe how grateful I am to Trudie Cameron being my solicitor and to Andrew Tiedt presenting my case in the court. They both have been very supportive and amazingly professional and effective. I’ve got an absolutely fantastic outcome I couldn’t even dream about.
Soon after meeting Andrew I knew he was the solicitor I wanted to handle my matter. He immediately sprang into action which brought me stability and hope during a tumultuous time in my life. Andrew was never afraid to give me straight answers to my tough questions which is a true mark of integrity. He is clearly at ease in the court environment and I believe his calm and measured demeanour went a long way to helping me secure the best result from my day in court. I would certainly recommend you approach Andrew if you need assistance.
"Andrew Tiedt was very professional and considerate to personal circumstances and gave sound advice that resulted in the best outcome possible. Highly recommended."
In the Australian Capital Territory, it is an offence to destroy or damage someone else’s property without their consent. A person can be charged with property damage under either the Criminal Code 2002 or the Crimes Act 1900. Police often look to charge a person with a property-damage offence that carries ten years’ prison as a maximum penalty (under the Criminal Code) when the value of the property means that an offence with a two-year maximum (under the Crimes Act) is the appropriate charge.
The penalties depend on which charge has been brought, the manner of the damage, and the value of the property.
Recognising the difference between the two charges and making representations to the prosecution can lead to much reduced penalties for those who have to be sentenced for these types of matters.
Depending on the circumstances, destroying or damaging property can be classed as a family violence offence.
The Offence Of Damaging Property
If the value of the property does not exceed $5000, you will likely be charged under section 116(3) of the Crimes Act 1900 which states: A person commits an offence if – (a) the person destroys or causes damage to property, other than by fire or explosive; and (b) the property belong to someone else or the person and someone else; and (c) the person intends to destroy or cause damage, or is reckless about destroying or causing damage, to the property; and (d) the damage to the property does not exceed $5000. The maximum penalty for this offence is 2 years imprisonment.
If the value of the damage to the property exceeds $5000 you will likely be charged under section 403 of the Criminal Code 2002 which states: A person commits an offence if the person — (a) causes damage to property belonging to someone else; and (b) intends to cause, or is reckless about causing, damage to that property or any other property belonging to someone else. The maximum penalty for this offence is 10 years imprisonment.
The Crimes Act separates damaging or destroying property by fire or explosives and through other means (such as breaking, dinting or cracking). If you are alleged to have destroyed or damaged property by using fire or explosives, it is likely you will be charged with Arson.
What Actions Might Constitute Damaging Property?
Examples of destroy or damage property offences are:
- Breaking a window
- Dinting a car
- Putting a hole in a wall
- Breaking furniture
- Smashing a plate
- Defacing property through graffiti
What The Police Must Prove
To find a person guilty of the offence there are two elements that the Prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt:
- Intended to cause, or recklessly caused, the destruction of or damage to property; and
- The property either belonged to someone else, or was jointly owned by the accused and someone else;
The onus is on the prosecution to prove the value of the property.
Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?
If you have been charged with an offence under the Crimes Act the offence will be heard and determined in the ACT Magistrates Court.
If you have been charged with an offence under the Criminal Code, it must be heard and determined in the ACT Supreme Court, unless the defendant elects for the offence to remain in the ACT Magistrates 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.
WHY CHOOSE ARMSTRONG LEGAL?
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