It is an offence under Section 1 of the Criminal Damage Act 1971 to damage or destroy property belonging to another, without reasonable excuse. For a person to be guilty of criminal damage they must cause the damage either deliberately or recklessly. The damage does not have to be permanent, and an owner can damage his own property if, at the same time, it belongs to someone else (for example jointly owned property) It is a defence to show that a person believed the owner would consent to the damage or that a person thought the damage was necessary to protect property. Whether an offence has been committed will depend upon the extent of the damage and your intentions in causing the damage. We are experienced in assessing the evidence and circumstances, in order to pursue any defence you may have. More serious offences can be committed if someone causes damage while intending to endanger life. ‘Arson’ can be committed where damage is caused by fire, and more seriously, where it is that person’s intention to endanger life. These offences will invariably be heard in the crown court, and can lead to lengthy periods of imprisonment. Offences of a similar nature can also be committed under Explosives Act 1875 and Explosive Substances Act 1883.