Worcester Vandalism Attorneys
Criminal Defense Law Office in Massachusetts
If you have been charged with vandalism, malicious destruction of property, or wanton destruction of property, it is important to speak with aggressive and intelligent Worcester criminal defense attorneys. At Murphy & Rudolf, LLP, we offer experienced representation and tenacious litigation. Call our office today at (508) 425-6330 for a free consultation.
In order to convict someone of malicious destruction of property, the Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- The defendant destroyed the personal property of another
The defendant destroyed the property willfully
The defendant destroyed the property with malice
Under the statute, the Commonwealth must demonstrate that you destroyed the property with cruelty, hostility, or out of a sense of revenge. This encompasses a very specific set of circumstances. If you are facing a malicious destruction of property charge, our Worcester criminal defense attorneys can fight against the Commonwealth’s accusations that you destroyed property willfully and with malice.
Wanton Destruction of Property Charges
An act of destruction that occurs as a result of reckless or indifferent actions is a separate crime in Massachusetts. This crime is called “Wanton Destruction of Property,” and in such cases the Commonwealth must prove a degree of recklessness that is above negligence, but less than maliciousness. At Murphy & Rudolf, LLP, you can receive legal advice from experienced Worcester criminal defense lawyers to seek a positive solution.
Vandalism Penalties in Massachusetts
A conviction of malicious destruction of property over $250 can result in a penalty of up to ten years in state prison and fines of up to $3,000. You could also face fines of three times the value of the property destroyed plus a lesser jail sentence. On the other hand, a conviction of malicious destruction of property under $250 can result in fines of up to three times the value of the property destroyed or imprisonment of not more than two and a half months in jail.
If you are facing a charge of malicious destruction of property over $250, it is the Commonwealth’s burden to demonstrate that the value of the damaged property exceeds $250. If the property can be repaired, the value of the property should be calculated as the repair or replacement cost, not the cost of the entire piece of property or even the damaged portion. Our team of Worcester criminal defense attorneys can work with investigators and experts to develop a litigation plan that takes into account all of the elements your case.
Willful or Wanton Destruction of a House of Worship, Cemetery, or School
Massachusetts also has a specific crime for willfully, intentionally, or wantonly destroying or defacing a place of worship, cemetery, or educational facility. If you are convicted of this crime, you may face a fine of up to $2,000 and imprisonment in the house of correction for up to two and half years.
If the damage to the property is over $5,000, you can face up to five years in state prison plus three times the value of the property destroyed or defaced. Our Worcester criminal defense lawyers can discuss your options and help you seek a favorable outcome.
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