A person who intentionally or recklessly destroys or damage property belonging to another or to that person and another is liable-

  • to imprisonment for 5 years, or
  • if the destruction or damage is caused by means of fire or explosives, to imprisonment for 10 years.

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-

  • to imprisonment for 6 years, or
  • if the destruction or damage is caused by means of fire or explosives, to imprisonment for 11 years.

A person who, during a public disorder, intentionally or recklessly destroys or damages property belonging to another or to that person and another is liable–

  • to imprisonment for 7 years, or
  • if the destruction or damage is caused by means of fire or explosives, to imprisonment for 12 years.

A person who intentionally causes a fire, and is reckless as to the spread of the fire to vegetation on any public land or on land belonging to another, is guilty of this offence.

Maximum penalty for this offence is imprisonment for 21 years.

For the purposes of this section, recklessness may also be established by proof of intention.

A person is not criminally responsible for an offence against this section if the person is a firefighter or acting under the direction of a firefighter, and the person caused the fire in the course of bushfire fighting or hazard reduction operations.

Your Options in Court

Pleading Not Guilty

Pleading Guilty

It is important that you speak to an experienced criminal defence lawyer who will be able to advise you of your options.

If you decide or have been advised to plead guilty to destroy or damage property after receiving legal advice from an experienced criminal defence lawyer, it is crucial that your case is sufficiently prepared to maximise your chances at obtaining a lenient sentence. 

Utilitarian Value or 25% discount on punishment

The discount for the utilitarian value of the plea of guilty will be determined largely by the timing of your plea entered. That means, the earlier you enter a plea of guilty, the greater discount you receive on your punishment and also the type of sentence you receive.

The utilitarian value of a delayed plea is less and consequently the discount is reduced.

Types of Penalties

Types of penalties the Judge can impose on you include any one of the following:

  • Conditional Release Order
  • Fine

Our expert defence team at Criminal Lawyers Sydney may be able to negotiate the police ‘facts’ to reduce the seriousness of the offence.

Our team will guide you on obtaining materials which can be handed-up to the court during your sentencing – including a letter of apology, character references and any documents from counsellors or health care professionals you have consulted.

These materials, together with persuasive verbal submissions by your lawyer in the courtroom, can help to ensure you receive the most lenient penalty that is possible in the circumstances.

If you have been charged with destroy or damage property, call Criminal Lawyers Sydney anytime on (02) 91528619 to arrange a free first conference with one of our experienced damage property lawyers who will review the allegations and advise you of your options and the best way forward.