Destruction of Property

In order to secure a conviction for destruction of property in Washington, D.C., the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:  (1) the defendant injured, broke or destroyed — or attempted to injure, break or destroy – real or personal property of another, and (2) the defendant acted “maliciously.”  Acting with malice does not require that the defendant specifically intended to damage or destroy the property.  Instead, the government must only prove that the defendant “acted with a specific disregard of a known and substantial risk of the harm which the statute is intended to prevent.”

If the property is valued at $200 or more, the offense is punishable as a felony by imprisonment for up to 10 years and/or a maximum fine of $5,000.  Otherwise, the offense is a misdemeanor with a maximum punishment of 180 days imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $1,000.  D.C. Criminal Code § 22-303.