Under Maryland law, a person may not willfully and maliciously destroy, injure, or deface the real or personal property of another. “Property of another” is not defined under the malicious destruction of property statute. The crime can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the value fo the property destroyed.
The value of damage is based on the evidence, and that value must be applied for the purpose of imposing penalties. If it cannot be determined from the evidence whether the value of the damage to the property is more or less than $1,000, the value is deemed to be less than $1,000. To determine a penalty, the court may consider the aggregate value of damage to each property resulting from one scheme or continuing course of conduct as one crime. If separate acts resulting in damage to the properties of one or more owners are set forth by separate counts in one or more charging documents, the separate counts may not be merged for sentencing.
A violator causing damage of:
- $1,000 or more to the property is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to maximum penalties of imprisonment for three years and/or a fine of $2,500; or
- less than $1,000 to the property is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to maximum penalties of imprisonment for 60 days and/or a fine of $500.
In addition to the penalties cited above, the court must order a person convicted of causing malicious destruction by an act of graffiti to pay restitution and/or perform community service.
Attorney for “Malicious Destruction” Crimes in Baltimore, Maryland
James Crawford is a criminal defense attorney in Baltimore, MD. He has more than two decades of experience as a trial lawyer defending people against Maryland state charges, all types of misdemeanors and felonies, in Baltimore and across the State of Maryland. He and his team of attorneys are experienced in fighting property crimes such as theft and malicious destruction of property.
He knows the tactics used by the law enforcement officers and prosecutors with the Offices of the Maryland State’s Attorneys who presents the state’s case in criminal trials in the District Courts. To protect your reputation and your future then contact an experienced attorney before you talk to police or anyone else about the accusation.
The attorneys at James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and operate two offices for your convenience, in Catonsville and Arbutus, Maryland. If you have been arrested for a property crime in the city or county of Baltimore, Howard County, Anne Arundel County, Carroll County or Harford, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney focused on property crimes today. Call 443-709-9999 to talk about your case and your best defense to the criminal charges.