It can be hard to know what steps to take after you’ve been charged with a criminal offence, but understanding the charges against you is a great start if you want to get the best result in your case.
Section 196 of the Crimes Act makes it an offence to destroy or damage property belonging to someone else with the intention of hurting or injuring another person.
If you’re found guilty of this offence, section 196 says that the maximum penalty is 7 years imprisonment, or 14 years imprisonment where the damage is caused by fire or explosives.
You could also face lengthy penalties if you destroy or damage another person’s property during a ‘public disorder.’
A public disorder is any kind of civil disturbance that poses a risk to public safety, such as a riot or violent protest.
If you destroy or damage property during a public disorder and you intend to cause harm to another person, you could face a maximum penalty of 9 years imprisonment, or 16 years if you damage the property using fire or explosives.
These are obviously lengthy penalties which have the potential to have a significant impact on your life and future.
However, it’s important to remember that they are maximum penalties, hence they only apply in the most serious cases.
If you’ve been charged with destroying or damaging property with intent, it’s in your best interests to speak to an experienced criminal lawyer as soon as possible. A good lawyer will be able to advise you of your options and what steps to take next.
Section 196 of the Crimes Act deals with ‘destroying or damaging property with intent to injure a person’ and reads as follows:
196 Destroying or damaging property with intent to injure a person
(1) A person who destroys or damages property, intending by the destruction or damage to cause bodily injury to 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 14 years.
(2) A person who, during a public disorder, destroys or damages property, intending by the destruction or damage to cause bodily injury to another, is liable:
(a) to imprisonment for 9 years, or
(b) if the destruction or damage is caused by means of fire or explosives, to imprisonment for 16 years.
Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers®?
Sydney Criminal Lawyers® is a highly respected law firm which specialises exclusively in criminal law.
Our in-depth knowledge of criminal law, combined with our proven track record of winning ‘destroy or damage property’ matters allows us to obtain the best results for our clients every time.
In many cases, we’re able have charges dropped before they end up in court, by finding problems with the prosecution case and raising these issues at an early stage.
If the prosecution refuses to drop the charges, our expert defence team will fight hard for you in court by presenting all evidence to support your case, as well as effectively examining all witnesses.
If you want to plead guilty, our legal experts will work hard to persuade the court to deal with your matter leniently, so that you avoid the onerous penalties imposed by the law.
For the best possible defence in your ‘destroy damage property’ case, call Sydney’s leading criminal lawyers now on and book your FREE first conference to discuss your case.