Destruction of Property in Maryland

Criminal destruction of property is another term for vandalism. Whether it’s stealing stops signs or breaking windows, it is important for parents and minors to understand that malicious destruction of property is a very serious criminal offense.

While not all individuals charged with malicious destruction of property are minors, the many offenders tend to be under the age of eighteen (18). Even for malicious destruction crimes prosecuted in juvenile court, having a criminal record early in life can drastically affect a teenager’s life.

Malicious destruction of property, also known as malicious mischief requires an intent to harm another, and it also requires an intent to destroy another’s property. The value of the property destroyed will often determine how the individual is charged.

Attorney for Malicious Destruction in Baltimore, Maryland

If you or someone you know has been charged with malicious destruction of property, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Baltimore, Maryland, about how to fight for your rights.

The attorneys at James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates have many years of experience and are known for zealously advocating for their client’s rights.  With offices in Arbutus, Maryland, we take cases throughout Baltimore County and in the surrounding cities of Baltimore, Westminster, Elliot City, and Frederick, Maryland.

Malicious Destruction of Property in Maryland

An individual commits malicious mischief when he or she willfully destroys or defaces another person’s real or personal property. The State does not have to show proof of ownership to a particular person, only that the property was “property of another.”

To prove malicious destruction of property, the Maryland prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the following:

  • that the defendant acted without legal justification;
  • that the defendant acted with the intent to deface, destroy or damage the property; and
  • that the defendant caused at least $500 worth of damage to the property.

Penalties under Maryland Statute § 6-301

The penalty given under this Statute is determined by the value of the property destroyed. Violation of Maryland Statute § 6-301 may be penalized as a misdemeanor in the following manner:

  • if the property damage is less than $1,000, then the penalty is up to sixty (60) days imprisonment and up to $500 fines;
  • if the property damage is at least $1,000, then the penalty is up to three (3) years imprisonment and up to $2,500 fines.

Graffiti in Maryland

According to Section § 601(d)(1), graffiti is defined as a permanent drawing, painting, mark, or inscription on another person’s property without their permission.

In addition to the penalties set forth above, the Court has been required by statute to order a person convicted of malicious destruction by graffiti to pay restitution and community service.

Additional Resources

Maryland Statute § 6-301 –Visit the official website of the Maryland General Assembly to find the full statutory language for the Maryland malicious destruction, otherwise known as malicious mischief, statute.

Maryland Juvenile Delinquency –Visit the official website of the Maryland Courts to find out more information about the process for delinquency proceedings. The Maryland Courts website also has information on the Services and Diversions Programs of the Department of Juvenile Services for treatment or counseling.

Find an Attorney for Malicious Destruction of Property in Baltimore County, Maryland

The attorneys at James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates have handled malicious destruction of property cases for years. Our attorneys have over two decades of combined experience. We are known for fighting for the rights of criminal defendants.

With two offices conveniently located in Catonsville and Arbutus, Maryland, we fight every step for your rights. We serve clients in Baltimore County, Maryland, and in the surrounding areas of Anne Arundel County, Howard County, Carroll County, Montgomery County, Harford County, and Kent County.

Call 443-709-9999 to schedule a no obligations consultation.