Under Md. Code Criminal Law Ann. 6-301, malicious destruction of property is a misdemeanor property crime in which a person willfully and maliciously destroys, damages, or defaces someone else’s property.
What Does “Maliciously” Mean?
An act is done “maliciously” if it is done knowingly and with deliberate intention to do harm or cause injury to another or to do an act that the law forbids. An act that is done merely because of a mistake, an accident, carelessness, or another innocent reason is not done maliciously.
What Does “Willfully” Mean?
An act is done “willfully” if it is done knowingly and with deliberate intention. An act that is done merely because of a mistake, an accident, carelessness, or another innocent reason is not done willfully.
What is the Maximum Penalty for Malicious Destruction of Property?
There are two variations of malicious destruction of property that are applicable for sentencing purposes. If the damage done to the property is valued at $1,000 or less, then the maximum possible penalty is 60 days of incarceration and/or a $500 fine. If the damage done to the property is valued at more than $1,000, then the maximum possible penalty is 3 years of incarceration and/or a $2,500 fine. If it cannot be determined from the evidence whether the value of the damage to the property is more or less than $1,000, then the value is deemed to be less than $1,000. Both variations of the offense are considered misdemeanor offenses for sentencing purposes.
Baltimore County, MD Malicious Destruction of Property Attorney
Being charged with a criminal offense is an important matter that should be taken extremely seriously because of the possibility of jail time and/or a fine if convicted. Contact our office today for a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with the crime of malicious destruction of property. During your free consultation, our principal attorney will discuss the facts of your case with you, explore possible defenses, and explain ways in which it may be possible to avoid a conviction altogether or minimize the consequences of a possible conviction.