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Wilful or Wanton Destruction of House of Worship, Cemetery or School

Wilful or wanton destruction of house of worship, cemetery or school is a very serious crime with significant repercussions. The destruction of property is never taken lightly and is considered more atrocious when it is wilful or wanton, and on property that is considered to be religious or educational. In Massachusetts, pursuant to G.L. c. 266, § 127A a defendant can be charged with wilful or wanton destruction of house of worship, cemetery or school. In order to find the defendant guilty of this offense, the Commonwealth must prove the following two things beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. That the defendant destroyed, defaced, marred or injured:
    1. a church
    2. a synagogue
    3. a building, structure of place used for the purpose of burial or memorializing the dead
    4. a school or educational facility
    5. a community center
    6. the grounds adjacent to and owned or leased by one of the foregoing locations
    7. personal property contained in one of the foregoing locations
  2. That the defendant’s acts were either wilful, intentional and without right, or were wanton and without cause.

Many times defendants can unknowingly fall into this category because they didn’t know that the property was religious or educational. Therefore a skilled Massachusetts property crimes attorney can provide an effective legal defense strategy to show that the alleged act was not willful, intentional or wanton in any way.

A person convicted of the misdemeanor crime of willful or wanton destruction of a house of worship, school or cemetery faces up to 2½ years in a house of correction and a fine of $2,000 or three times the value of the property, whichever is greater. Be aware that an allegation such as this can also bring a lot of media attention to the defendant. If you have unfortunately found yourself in a position where you are being investigating or charged with this crime, it is best to get an attorney involved as soon as possible. Attorney Murphey offers a free and confidential consultation that can help someone facing these charges.

Boston, Massachusetts Wilful or Wanton Destruction of House of Worship, Cemetery or School Defense Lawyer

Attorney Patrick J. Murphy is an aggressive Boston criminal defense attorney experienced in successfully representing clients charged with wilful or wanton property crimes. Aggressive cross-examination of police officers and other law enforcement officials by a talented lawyer is crucial to expose lies and other contradictions at motion hearings and at trial. Often, property cases can be won at trial or charges can be reduced to lesser included offenses by exposing weaknesses in the necessary elements of each charge. The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy will do everything possible to ensure that your constitutional rights are not violated and that you have the best possible legal defense to avoid a conviction. If you have been charged with a Massachusetts property crime, put your trust in a reputable and experienced property crimes lawyer. Contact Attorney Patrick J. Murphy today for a free and confidential telephone conference at (617) 367-0450. You may also contact us online and Attorney Murphy will respond to you right away.

Client Reviews
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"I Felt That I was in Good Hands... and I Was! Mr. Patrick J. Murphy was very quick to respond to my needs. He was always there to answer any questions I had in a timely fashion, and he made me feel very comfortable in an extremely uncomfortable situation. Having Mr. Murphy by my side in the courtroom felt like I was at an advantage. He speaks with confidence. He doesn't stutter or pause while put on the spot. He treated me with respect. He listens. He always greeted me with a warm welcome and never wasted any time." Avvo User