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Destroying or Damaging Property

Destroying or Damaging Property is an offence under Section 195 of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison in the district court or 2 years if the case remains in the local court.

The maximum penalty increases to 10 years if the damage was caused by fire or explosives.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  1. You destroyed or damaged property
  2. The property belonged to another person, and
  3. You intended to cause the destruction or damage or were reckless as to whether your actions would cause the destruction or damage

You must be found not guilty if the prosecution is unable to establish all three of those ‘elements’.

The defences to destroy or damage property include:

  1. Self-Defence,
  2. Duress, and
  3. Necessity.

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