What is Criminal Damage?

Criminal Damage is the damage or destruction of property which belongs to another person. Furthermore the damage must be intended, or at the very least a person must be reckless as to the damage. This means that it may be proven simply when you foresee a risk of damaging property and then go on to take that risk resulting in damage.

It is possible to be guilty of Criminal Damage where the property is shared between you and another person or people, provided the other owners did not give permission.

Criminal Damage may be treated as a more serious offence if there has been an injury to another person, or a risk of injury to another person, and the court will take this into account when determining sentence.

What are the Sentencing Guidelines for Criminal Damage?

There are three categories of Criminal Damage:

  • where the damage caused is less than £5,000 – a fine of up to £2,500 and up to 6 months in prison.
  • where the damage caused is more than £5,000 – up to 10 years in prison.
  • where the damage caused is racially or religiously aggravated – up to 14 years in prison.

The level of sentence will depend on a number of factors including:

  • The level of planning or premeditation.
  • Level of recklessness and intention to cause damage.
  • Whether it was a revenge attack.
  • Level of distress caused.

If fire was used in any case of Criminal Damage, it would then be tried as Arson.

What should you do if you’re looking for a Criminal Damage defence solicitor?

If you or a family member are accused of Criminal Damage, you should seek legal advice immediately. It is vital that you receive the best advice possible and provide as much detail of the facts of your case as you can to ensure the right result for you.