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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
  • Charges of Felony Malicious Destruction to Property Against Restaurant Worker Dismissed

    Our client is a restaurant worker living in the North Shore of Massachusetts. In April of this year the woman was driving in a residential neighborhood at a high rate of speed. She was observed weaving back and forth over the marked lane lines. She lost control of her vehicle and struck two parked cars and a single family home. The damage was significant. The woman was charged with reckless operation of a motor vehicle in violation of G.L. c. 90 section 24. She was also charged with two counts of malicious destruction to property in violation of G.L. c. 266 section 127. One of the counts charged over $1,200 making that crime a felony. There was also a charge of having an open container of alcohol under G.L. c. 90 section 24. Attorney Neyman was hired. In just over a month he was able to get these charges dismissed. 

    Read More in Reckless Operation of a Motor Vehicle

  • Order of Restitution After Destruction of Property Case Vacated and Defendant Owes No Money

    The defendant was charged with malicious destruction of property under G.L. c. 266 section 127. Attorney Neyman was able to get the client pretrial probation under G.L. c. 276 section 87 however the district attorney's office pressed the issue of restitution and a hearing was scheduled. Due to court closings for the past several months the case was routinely continued. Today our office was able to demonstrate that our client owed no money. The court agreed and the order of restitution was vacated. The case was dismissed and our client owes nothing. 

    This case was determined telephonically due to the courts being closed

    Read More in 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

Client Reviews
★★★★★
"We went to trial and won. He saved me fifteen years mandatory in state prison for this case." A.C. Boston, Massachusetts
★★★★★
"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
★★★★★
"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.
★★★★★
"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
★★★★★
"In less than two months Stephen Neyman got my old conviction vacated. I now have no criminal record." Paul W. Boston, Massachusetts