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Malicious Destruction of Property
Massachusetts General Laws chapter 266, §127 prohibits malicious destruction of property. To convict a defendant of this criminal offense, the government has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- The defendant destroyed or injured another person’s property.
- The defendant did so willfully. “Willful” means intentionally. An accidental act is not a willful act. In order to be willful, a person must intend both the act and the consequences.
- The defendant did so maliciously. “Malicious” means “out of cruelty, hostility or revenge.” In order for an act to be “malicious,” there must be some hostility towards the property owner, though it is not required that the owner’s identity be known to the defendant.
If one is charged with malicious destruction to property over $250, then the government must also prove that the property itself is worth more than $250. In other words, it is not the actual damage caused but the value of the property damaged. Malicious destruction to property over $250 is a felony in Massachusetts.
In addition to malicious destruction of property, General Laws chapter 266, §127 prohibits wanton destruction of property over $250. Destruction of property is “wanton” if done recklessly and with a conscious disregard of substantial harm to people or property. Foresight of or intent to cause the damage is not required, but mere negligence does not amount to “wanton” conduct. To be a “wanton” act, an act must be intentional and not accidental.Penalties
Malicious destruction of property over $250 is punishable by:
- Up to ten years in the state prison
- A fine of the greater of $3,000 or three times the value of the damaged property
- Up to 2 ½ years in jail
Malicious Destruction of Property Under $250 is Punishable by:
- A fine of three time the value of the damage to the property
- Up to 2 ½ months imprisonment
Massachusetts Property Crimes Defense Attorney (617) 263 6800
Stephen Neyman is a leading Massachusetts lawyer who has successfully defended countless individuals accused of malicious destruction of property. Attorney Neyman is known for his aggressive approach to defense in all cases. Malicious destruction of property charges can be serious and may affect your future. In order to minimize the impact of such criminal charges, it is wise to contact an experienced criminal lawyer right away.
Stephen Neyman has been defending the criminally accused for more than 20 years. He has the expertise to achieve the best possible result in your malicious destruction of property case. Attorney Neyman is often successful in getting these types of charges dismissedMassachusetts Property Crimes Defense Attorney (617) 263 6800
To speak with Attorney Stephen Neyman about malicious destruction of property or any other criminal matter, call the Law Offices of Stephen Neyman, P.C. at (617) 263-6800 or contact Attorney Neyman by e-mail. His primary office is located in downtown Boston, and he also has a North Andover office for the convenience of his clients. Attorney Neyman regularly appears in courts all over the state, so do not hesitate to speak with him about a criminal matter in any Massachusetts or federal court.