Destroying or Damaging Commonwealth Property

by Doogue + George Defence Lawyers

Destroying or Damaging Commonwealth Property is a charge that is made against a person who allegedly damaged or destroyed property that belongs to the Federal government.


Examples of Destroying or Damaging Commonwealth Property

  • A group of people spray-paint a tank with peace symbols
  • Someone breaks the window of a Minister’s car


What are some of the possible defences to a charge of Destroying or Damaging Commonwealth Property?

  • You did not damage or destroy the property
  • You did not intentionally damage or destroy the property


There are other possible defences, depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offending. Each matter is unique and requires an individual approach and strategy.


Questions in cases like this

  • Was any property damaged or destroyed?
  • Can they prove you were connected with the damage?
  • Did you intend to damage or destroy the property?


Maximum penalty and the court that deals with this charge

The maximum penalty for this offence is imprisonment for 10 years. This is a very serious offence which is heard in the County Court; however sometimes it can be heard in the Magistrates’ Court.


What is the legal definition of Destroying or Damaging Commonwealth Property?

Destroying or Damaging Commonwealth Property means intentionally destroying or damaging property belonging to the Commonwealth, or to any public authority under the Commonwealth.



The section that covers this offence is section 29 of the Crimes Act 1914.


What can you be sentenced to for this charge?

Your sentence will depend on the kind of damage caused to the property or the kind of property that was destroyed. If the property is important and has been completely destroyed, then you may face imprisonment. However if there is only minor damage to the property, then you are more likely to be fined or placed on a Community Corrections Order.


Have you been charged with a Commonwealth offence? Speak with a lawyer from Doogue + George Defence Lawyers and know your legal options. The firm has a number of accredited criminal law specialists who are experienced in handling any criminal case throughout the state of Victoria.


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