Malicious damage means intentionally damaging property. It cannot be accidental – if it is, there is no offence committed. Malicious damage can occur through recklessness. It also includes temporary damage or making something temporarily unusable such as by graffiti or urinating on some object requiring it to be cleaned.
The precise circumstances of an incident may make it difficult to distinguish between malicious, reckless and accidental actions. Someone witnessing an incident might believe the other person’s actions were deliberate, however that person might not agree.
Alcohol and anger often play a part in the damage of property. They might also play a part in the view taken by a witness or owner of the damaged property.
If you have been accused of malicious damage, seek the advice of a criminal law specialist. Penalties can be severe and include the potential for imprisonment.