Other Criminal Offences – VIC

Welcome to the VIC Destroying or damaging property article page. Everything you need to know about Destroying or damaging property according to VIC law.

What the Law States according to VIC Law for Destroying or damaging property

According to VIC Law for the charge of Destroying or damaging property,

Crimes Act 1958 – SECT 197
Destroying or damaging property

197. Destroying or damaging property

(1) A person who intentionally and without lawful excuse destroys or damages any property belonging to another or to himself and another shall be guilty of an indictable offence and liable to level 5 imprisonment (10 years maximum).

(2) A person who intentionally and without lawful excuse destroys or damages any property, intending by the destruction or damage to endanger the life of another, shall be guilty of an indictable offence and liable to level 4 imprisonment (15 years maximum).

(3) A person who dishonestly, with a view to gain for himself or another, destroys or damages any property shall be guilty of an indictable offence and liable to level 5 imprisonment (10 years maximum).

(4) For the purposes of subsections (1) and (2) a person who destroys or damages property shall be taken as doing so intentionally if, but only if-

(a) his purpose or one of his purposes is to destroy or damage property; or

(b) he knows or believes that his conduct is more likely than not to result in destruction of or damage to property.

(5) For the purposes of subsection (2), a person who destroys or damages property shall be treated as intending thereby to endanger the life of another if, but only if-

(a) his purpose or one of his purposes is to endanger the life of another by the destruction or damage; or

(b) he knows or believes that the life of another is more likely than not to be endangered by the destruction or damage.

(6) An offence against this section committed by destroying or damaging property by fire shall be charged as arson.

(7) A person guilty of arson is liable to level 4 imprisonment (15 years maximum) despite anything to the contrary in this section.

The Maximum Penalty – Destroying or damaging property

According to VIC Law for the charge of Destroying or damaging property:

s197 (1) – 10 years
s197 (2) – 15 years

What the Police must prove according to VIC Law for Destroying or damaging property

s197 (1)-
1. That the accused destroyed or damaged property;
2. That the accused did so intentionally;
3. That the accused did so without lawful excuse;
4. That the property belonged to another person or to the accused and another person.

s 197(2)
1. That the accused destroyed or damaged property;
2. The accused did so intentionally;
3. That the accused did so without lawful excuse;
4. That the accused intended by such destruction or damage to endanger the life of another.
a) that the accused had as his purpose or one of his purposes to endanger the life of another by the destruction or damage; or
b) that the accused knew or believed that the life of another was more likely than not to be endangered by the destruction or damage (s 197(5)).

Possible Defences under VIC Law – Destroying or damaging property

1. Lack of intention
2. Lawful excuse
3. Identification
4. Factual dispute

In VIC which court will hear the matter – Destroying or damaging property

County Court or Magistrates’ Court

 

Date: 09/01/2009