Destroying or Damaging Commonwealth Property

by Doogue & O'Brien Criminal Defence Lawyers

How serious the charge of Destroying or Damaging Commonwealth Property? What’s the maximum penalty in Melbourne?

Destroying or Damaging Commonwealth Property is a very serious criminal offence which may carry a prison term on a finding of guilt. It is an indictable offence primarily heard in the County Court but it can also be heard in a Magistrates’ Court upon the discretion of the Prosecution. A person found guilty of Destroying or Damaging Commonwealth Property may be required to serve a maximum penalty of 10 years of imprisonment. This is typically not imposed by Courts except for the worst examples of this offence.

 

The legislation on Destroying or Damaging Commonwealth Property

Section 29 of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) is the right legislation for the charge of Destroying or Damaging Commonwealth Property:

       

Destroying or Damaging Commonwealth Property

             (1)  Any person who intentionally destroys or damages any property, whether real or personal, belonging to the Commonwealth or to any public authority under the Commonwealth, shall be guilty of an offence.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 10 years.                                                                             

             (2)  For the purposes of an offence against subsection (1), absolute liability applies to the physical element of circumstance of the offence, that the property is property belonging to the Commonwealth or to any public authority under the Commonwealth.

Note: For absolute liability , see section 6.2 of the Criminal Code .

 

Pleading guilty or not guilty to Destroying or Damaging Commonwealth Property in a Melbourne Court

Should you plead guilty or not guilty to Destroying or Damaging Commonwealth Property? The answer to this question can best come from a criminal defence solicitor who has the legal expertise to deliver you the best possible results. Don’t risk losing your case by failing to get the right counsel.

 

Elements of the charge of Destroying or Damaging Commonwealth Property in a Melbourne Court

The element to this offence primarily requires that the defendant intentionally destroyed or damaged any property, whether real or personal, that belongs to the Commonwealth or to any public authority under the Commonwealth.

 

Defending the charge of Destroying or Damaging Commonwealth Property in a Melbourne Court

There are various criminal defences that may be considered to defend a charge of Destroying or Damaging Commonwealth Property. Primarily, was the defendant really the person responsible for the destruction or damage? Identification and factual disputes may be raised in Court depending on the circumstances of the allegations. Lack of intent may also be used if the defendant did not really intend to destroy or damage any Commonwealth property. In some cases, the property involved does not really belong to the Commonwealth or to any of its public authority and hence the charge is inappropriate.

 

For more information on Destroying or Damaging Commonwealth Property, you may visit the Australian Defence Lawyers Association site (click here) and also the Doogue & O’Brien Melbourne Criminal Lawyers site (here).

 

Doogue & O’Brien Melbourne can provide you more detail about this

Our Head Office is at 5/221 Queen Street, Melbourne

Phone (03) 9670 5111 (24 hrs if you are in a Police Station)

www.criminal-lawyers.com.au/melbourne-criminal-lawyers

 

This article was written on Aug. 15, 2012 and relates to the law that it stands at this time.



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