Is Vandalism Considered a Property-Related Offence?

Understanding the charges for specific items like vandalism can be a little challenging if you aren’t accustomed to the criminal justice system. You should know where each of your charges falls in terms of its type and its severity. After all, these charges directly influence your impending sentencing. You should take a few moments to learn more about property-related crimes and how vandalism fits into this category below.

What are property-related offences?

A property crime is any action that purposely defaces or destroys someone else’s property. This could refer directly to their personal property, such as electronics, their home, or even their car. It doesn’t have to include any type of bodily injury to the other party in order to fall into the property-related offences category. Property-related offences is a relatively broad category that includes low-level crimes all the way up to felony charges.

Stealing and theft of property do fall under this category unless there is an express intent to harm or to take the items by force. This then transforms into robbery, which is considered a crime of violence. It is still considered a property-related offence even if the perpetrator does not actually get away with the items in question.

Common examples of property-related offences include:

  • Theft
  • Larceny
  • Burglary
  • Shoplifting
  • Arson

How does vandalism fit in?

You might be wondering how vandalism fits into the property-related offences category. The very definition of vandalism is when you purposely destroy or deface the property of another person, allowing it to fit squarely into this category. In order for it to be considered vandalism, your actions must have taken place without the permission of the owner. It is not considered to be art, even if that was its primary intention.

Vandalism may be referred to by another common term depending on the damage: criminal damage, malicious trespass, or malicious mischief.

There are several different forms that vandalism can take. Graffiti isn’t the only act of vandalism that a person can commit. For more examples of property-related offences that fall under this category, you will want to see below for a more extensive list:

  • Throwing eggs at someone’s car or window
  • Scratching the paint off a car with a key or other object
  • Breaking windows
  • Slashing car tires
  • Defacing park benches
  • Knocking down or spray painting on street signs
  • Destroying property using your body

An officer may also charge you with a property-related offence of vandalism if you have the specific means to commit vandalism in your possession. This include spray paint bottles in a backpack, a glass cutter, or any other suspicious objects.


The penalty for vandalism can range from fines to imprisonment, and it most often includes restitution.

Being charged with a property-related offence can be extremely serious for the individual charged. You need to make sure that you have an effective criminal defence lawyer on your side. Give Matthew Gould a call today to see how he can help you to move forward through the court system with your charges.