Malicious Destruction of Property

In order to secure a conviction for malicious destruction of property in Maryland, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt (1) that the defendant damaged, destroyed, or defaced someone else’s property, (2) that the defendant acted with the intent to damage, destroy or deface that property; and (3) that the defendant acted without legal justification.

Proof of ownership is not required; the government must merely prove that the property was “of another.”

A person convicted of destroying property valued at less than $500 is subject to a $500 fine and 60 days of imprisonment. If the property is valued at $500 or greater, the person can be sentenced to a $2,500 fine and three years of imprisonment. No specific value needs to be alleged or proven for a conviction and the lesser sentence. However, the greater sentence is impermissible unless the government has proven the value of the property beyond a reasonable doubt.