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What Is The Malicious Destruction of Property in Maryland?

It goes without saying that one cannot intentionally destroy or damage the property of another. Maryland labels this crime malicious destruction.

Malice is a term that generally 'retains its judicially created meaning', and is not defined in Maryland statutes. At a minimum, an act done with malice would have to be intentional in nature.

One cannot be convicted of a crime of malice because they drove negligently or sideswiped a parked car, and caused some damage. 

In order to sustain a conviction for malicious destruction, the State would have to prove an intentional act that was done wickedly, with an intent to cause damage to the property of another without any reason. It is not enough that damage was done. The State must prove the intent to cause the damage, or, a reckless and complete disregard of the rights of the property owner. 

The penalties vary depending on the value of the property damaged. Destruction of property worth more than $1000 carries a penalty of 3 years incarceration. Skilled Baltimore criminal defense lawyers have successfully argued that where the state cannot satisfactorily prove the value of the property, the only sustainable charge is malicious destruction of property less than $1000.

I offer a no-cost conference to anyone accused of a crime. During this strategy session, we will evaluate the evidence, assess the strength of the State’s case, and develop the most effective defenses and explore mitigation. If you stand accused, contact me today. 410 591 2935.