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Malicious Destruction of Property

What is Malicious Destruction of Property in Massachusetts?

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:

  1. The defendant destroyed or injured another person’s property.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
Is This a Misdemeanor or a Felony?

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 dismissed

Massachusetts 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.

Case Results » Malicious Destruction of Property
  • No Money Owed After Restitution Hearing on Malicious Destruction of Property Over $1,200 and Case Dismissed

    The defendant was involved in a felony malicious destruction of property, G.L. c. 266 Section 127 that occurred over two years ago. He had a lawyer from another office that scheduled a change of plea and a restitution hearing. The man continued to protest his innocence. Nevertheless the lawyer insisted that he admit responsibility, get a continuance without a finding and have a hearing to determine restitution. The defendant was unhappy with this advice and hired our office to represent him. We convinced the assistant district attorney to proceed with restitution first. He agreed. As we expected, the judge found that our client did nothing wrong and agreed that no money was due. The judge further agreed to dismiss the case as he could not see any wrongdoing on our client's part. This was handled telephonically due to the coronavirus emergency. All charges were dismissed. 

    This case was determined telephonically due to the courts being closed

    Read More in Malicious Destruction to Property

  • Charges of Breaking and Entering in the Nighttime With the Intent to Commit a Felony, Larceny Over $1,200 and Malicious Destruction to Property Over $1,200 to be Dismissed

    In July of 2019 an individual and his wife were on their boat in a marina sleeping. In the early morning hours they heard a noise. The man left the cabin to investigate and saw four men on his boat. It is alleged that these individuals broke into the marina and boarded this boat and others with the intention of stealing fishing gear and valuable personal items. A neighboring boat owner heard the commotion and saw the four men flee the boat and enter a car. He was able to get the license plate of the vehicle which led the police to our client. Our client admitted to being on the boat with the intention to commit larceny. He was ultimately charged with two counts of breaking and entering in the nighttime with the intent to commit a felony in violation of G.L. c. 266 section 16, larceny over $1,200, G.L. c. 266 section 30 and malicious destruction to property over $1,200, G.L. c. 266 section 127, all felonies in Massachusetts. Attorney Stephen Neyman was retained to represent the man. Today, all charges were continued without a finding (CWOF). After successful completion of probation all charges will be dismissed. 

    Read More in Theft Crimes

  • Domestic Assault and Battery and Felony Malicious Destruction to Property Charges Against Engineer Dismissed Prior to Arraignment

    Our client is an engineer and operations manager at an aviation manufacturing facility in Massachusetts. A few months ago he and his girlfriend began arguing over suspected infidelity. The girlfriend had been drinking and as the argument progressed she became enraged. She began striking our client, throwing household objects at him and screaming at him loud enough to cause neighbors to their home alarm. The police were called and the woman claimed that our client had struck her and caused the damage to the household items. The police arrested our client and charges were filed against him. He hired Attorney Neyman to represent him. We were able to get the arraignment continued long enough to conduct our own investigation of the incident. Through witnesses and videotape evidence we were able to demonstrate that our client was not responsible for that at all and that the girlfriend had fabricated the charges of domestic assault and battery under G.L. c. 265 Section 13M and malicious destruction to property under G.L. c. 266 Section 127. In fact, she had committed these offenses. Accordingly, we succeeded in getting all charges dismissed prior to arraignment.

    Read More in G.L. c. 266 Section 127

Client Reviews
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"We went to trial and won. He saved me fifteen years mandatory in state prison for this case." A.C. Boston, Massachusetts
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"I hired him and he got the case dismissed before I had to go into a courtroom. My school never found out and if they had I would have lost my academic scholarships. He really saved my college career." Melissa C. Cold Spring, New York, October 2013
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"My union rep told me to call Steve Neyman. From the get go I felt comfortable with him. He took the time to talk to me about my case whenever I needed .... He even gave me his personal cell number and took all my calls. We won the case and I kept my job." Bart L. S.
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"The best criminal defense lawyer in Massachusetts. Takes all of his client's calls at any time of the day or night. He was always there for me and my family. Steve saved my life." Jacquille D. Brockton, Massachusetts
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"In less than two months Stephen Neyman got my old conviction vacated. I now have no criminal record." Paul W. Boston, Massachusetts