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."
Malicious Damage of Property (NSW)
In New South Wales, malicious damage of property carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment. Where the offence is committed in company with another person, the maximum penalty is six years imprisonment. There are different maximum penalties if the destruction or damage is caused by means of fire or explosives, or during a ‘public disorder’.
The Offence of Malicious Damage
The offence of Malicious Damage is contained in section 195 of the Crimes Act 1900 which states:
- (1) A person who intentionally or recklessly destroys or damages property belonging to another or to that person and another is liable:
- (a) to imprisonment for 5 years, or
- (b) if the destruction or damage is caused by means of fire or explosives, to imprisonment for 10 years.
- (1A) A person who, in the company of another person or persons, intentionally or recklessly destroys or damages property belonging to another or to that person and another is liable:
- (a) to imprisonment for 6 years, or
- (b) if the destruction or damage is caused by means of fire or explosives, to imprisonment for 11 years.
- (2) A person who, in the company of another person or persons, intentionally or recklessly destroys or damages property belonging to another or to that person and another is liable:
- (a) to imprisonment for 7 years, or
- (b) if the destruction or damage is caused by means of fire or explosives, to imprisonment for 12 years.
What is ‘Property’?
Property is defined in section 4 of the Crimes Act 1900. It includes:
- All real and personal property;
- Money, valuable securities, debts, and legacies;
- All deeds and instruments relating to, or evidencing the title or right to any property, or giving a right to recover or receive any money or goods.
What Actions Might Constitute “Malicious Damage”?
A person may be found guilty of this offence if they:
- intentionally damaged another person’s property by defacing, altering or marking it;
- intentionally destroyed another person’s property by deleting items from a computer hard-drive.
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, the matter 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 only the DPP can elect to have the matter dealt with in the District Court. If no election is made, the matter will be dealt with in the Local Court.
If the matter is dealt with in the Local Court, the maximum penalty for this offence if you are convicted in the Local Court is:
Damage to property less than $5000
- A maximum term of imprisonment of 12 months;
- A maximum fine of $5,500
Damage to property over $5000
- A maximum term of imprisonment of 24 months;
- A maximum fine of $11,000
What must be proven?
To convict you of malicious damage to property, the police must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:
- You destroyed or damaged property;
- The property belonged to another person, or the accused and another person;
- The destruction or damage was done maliciously, with intent or recklessness.
They will also need to prove that you were the person who committed the malicious damage to property offence.
Can I Pay a Greater Fine to Avoid Being Convicted?
No, it is not possible to bargain with the court that you would pay a larger fine to avoid a criminal conviction. If the court deals with you under section 10 there will be no fine, but there may be court costs to pay (this is normally less than $80).
A charge of malicious damage to property can validly be defended by arguing:
- That you did not intend to damage or destroy the property;
- That the property was solely your property; or
- That the offence was committed under duress.
Note: You cannot be convicted of malicious damage to property if you do not show the required intent. This means that you will not be convicted of the offence if the property was damaged accidentally.
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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