Wilful Damage

Our experienced criminal law solicitors have prepared a brief overview of the law relating to Wilful Damage.

If you or someone you care about is facing a charge of Wilful Damage, you need specific advice and should contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on 55800120 for advice.

For more information on other similar charges, visit our PROPERTY OFFENCES.

Wilful Damage – The Law

Subsection 469(1) of the Queensland Criminal Code 2005 creates the offence of wilful damage. It provides:

(1)   Any person who wilfully and unlawfully destroys or damages any property is guilty of an offence which, unless otherwise stated, is a misdemeanour, and the person is liable, if no other punishment is provided, to imprisonment for 5 years.

Elements of the offence

To be found guilty of the offence of fraud, the prosecution is required to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the following elements:

  1. The accused damages property;
  2. The damage was done wilfully.

That is to say prosecution must prove that the accused did an intentional act to cause damage to someone else’s property, and this act was done unlawfully.

Maximum penalty

The maximum penalty for the allegation of wilful damage is 5 years imprisonment.

However, depending on the circumstances – what property was damaged and how it was damaged, further penalties may apply.

Jurisdiction – Where will the matter be heard?

The offence of wilful damage is a misdemeanour

The charge will initially be commenced and will in most cases be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

However, special cases of wilful damage must be dealt with in the District Court.

Conviction – Does a conviction have to be recorded?

The sentencing Court has a discretion whether or not to record a conviction against you for the offence of fraud.  Generally a conviction would not be recorded for a minor first offence for this type of offence, although one is likely for subsequent convictions, or where a circumstance of aggravation is made out.

The relevant factors are set out in section 12 of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992, and include, the nature of the offence, the offenders character and age, together with the impact the recording a conviction would have on the offenders chances of finding employment. If you are concerned about a conviction being recorded on you or a loved you should seek legal advice.

For specific legal advice you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.