Malicious Destruction of Property


In the state of Maryland, malicious destruction of property is a broadly defined charge covering many kinds of property damage, from graffiti to slashed tires and keyed cars. The law itself is simply stated in the Code of Maryland: “A person may not willfully and maliciously destroy, injure, or deface the real or personal property of another.” Maryland law describes two degrees of malicious destruction of property, differentiated by the value of property damaged.

If property damage resulting from malicious destruction is valued at less than $1000, defendants can face a misdemeanor charge carrying up to $500 in fines and 60 days in prison.

On the other hand, if property damage is estimated to total over $1000, the accused may be charged with a misdemeanor and face up to $2500 in fines and three years imprisonment. In such cases, state prosecution must be able to prove the value of property damage beyond a reasonable doubt; if such value can’t be proven, the court will automatically assume a value below $1000.

Maryland law also provides a specific addendum for malicious destruction of property in the form of graffiti. In addition to the aforementioned fines and incarceration terms, defendants accused of graffiti are responsible for paying restitution, performing community service, or both.


While malicious destruction of property is usually a misdemeanor offense, a conviction can introduce unnecessary complications into the life of the accused–reaching beyond jail time and hefty fines. The Palumbo Law Group has spent four decades helping Maryland residents navigate the criminal justice system and emerge with the best results possible. Avoiding criminal charges is our primary goal, followed by minimizing the negative consequences of conviction. With the assistance of experienced legal representation, you can build a strong defense and protect your rights as a citizen.

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