Malicious Destruction of Property

Malicious Destruction of Property

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Malicious Destruction of Property is characterized defined in Massachusetts law as:

The willful and malicious destruction or injury of personal property, dwelling house or building of another in any manner, or by any means not particularly described or mentioned in this chapter.

An act is “willful” if it is done intentionally and by design, as opposed to thoughtlessly or accidentally. An act is done with “malice” if it is done out of cruelty, hostility, or revenge.

Requirements for Conviction

In order to secure a conviction, the prosecution will need to prove that three (and in felony cases, four) elements that:

  1. the defendant injured or destroyed the personal property/dwelling house/building of another.
  2. the defendant did so willingly.
  3. the defendant did so with malice.
  4. if value of property is alleged to be greater than $1,200 (if prior elements are proven). Destruction that exceeds this threshold is considered a felony in Massachusetts, and any damages found to equal less than $1,200 is considered a misdemeanor.


Malicious destruction of property over $1,200 is punishable by:

  • Up to ten years in the state prison, and
  • A fine of the greater of $3,000 or three times the value of the damaged property


Malicious Destruction of Property under $1,200 is punishable by:

  • A fine of three times the value of the damage to the property, and
  • Up to 2 ½ months imprisonment


We have successfully defended charges of Malicious Destruction of Property for many clients.  If you or a loved one is facing charges, we can help.  Call us today at 781-797-0555 for a free telephone consultation today.

Further Facts & Considerations

As of April 13, 2018, Massachusetts increased the felony threshold for this offense from $250 to $1,200. For offenses committed prior to April 13, 2018, the felony threshold remains $250.

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