What are Property Offenses?
Property offenses are those crimes which relate to the lawful and non-consensual infringement on the property rights of another. The offenses range in severity from minor offenses such as trespass and vandalism to more serious offenses such as burglary. The law affords certain protections to property owners by affording them with the quiet use and enjoyment of their property and to be free from unwanted visitors or intruders. The law also protects the right to exclusively use and possess property without interference from others. Property offenses is a broad category of crimes that also involves theft crimes related to property such as stealing, larceny, robbery, embezzlement, and extortion. However, these offenses are addressed separately as Theft Offenses in this web content.
Read our case results and testimonials for property offenses.
Learn more about specific property offenses below:
What is Malicious Destruction of Property?
Malicious destruction of property is more commonly known as vandalism. Vandalism is willfully and maliciously destroying or defacing someone else’s property. Additionally, if you obstruct the use of someone elses property you could face this type of charge.
Massachusetts and Rhode Island Penalties for Vandalism
Depending on the value of the property in question you could face misdemeanor or felony charges. Property damage in excess of $250 is a felony.
§ 11-44-1 Vandalism – Obstruction of lawful pursuits – (a) Every person who shall willfully and maliciously or mischievously injure or destroy or write upon, paint, or otherwise deface the property of another, or obstruct the use of the property of another, or obstruct another in the prosecution of his or her lawful business or pursuits, in any manner, the punishment of which is not specifically provided for by statute, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) and/or be imprisoned not exceeding one year, and shall be liable to make restitution for the injury or damage caused. Every person convicted of a first offense under this section shall be required to perform up to one hundred (100) hours of public community restitution work, and for a second or subsequent conviction shall be required to perform up to two hundred (200) hours of public community restitution work.
— Rhode Island Criminal Offenses
Section 126A: Defacement of real or personal property – Whoever intentionally, willfully and maliciously or wantonly, paints, marks, scratches, etches or otherwise marks, injures, mars, defaces or destroys the real or personal property of another including but not limited to a wall, fence, building, sign, rock, monument, gravestone or tablet, shall be punished by imprisonment in a state prison for a term of not more than three years…
— The Commonwealth of Massachusetts-General Laws