Criminal Mischief, C.R.S. 18-4-501, crimes are charged whenever something gets broken, even if it is an accident or if the property belongs to you and another. This crime can even be a felony, so police have a lot of leverage once they file the charge with the District Attorney. If confronted by Police who are charging this crime, you need an attorney with experience who will fight back to protect your rights.
Criminal Mischief occurs when someone knowingly damages the property of someone else, or property that is jointly owned by you and someone else. When this happens, District Attorneys in Boulder, Adams, and Denver County will charge you with a crime based on the amount of monetary damage you caused. The higher the dollar value of the damage, the more punishment they will seek. When charging this crime, the District Attorney must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the value of the item(s) damaged. This is where an experienced attorney in Jefferson, Arapahoe, or Douglas County is often able to defeat felony Criminal Mischief charges.
For instance, in a recent case, the District Attorney in Weld County tried to charge my client with a felony because they valued the item at over one thousand dollars. When I was hired on the case, I went down to a local electronics store and priced the item. I verified the make, model, and size. The item was listed for $999.99, one penny less than what the felony charge requires. When the District Attorney saw this proof, he quickly tried to cover up the mistake. However, I held their feet to the fire and forced them to give my client a great outcome for his situation.
I am sometimes asked whether a Criminal Mischief charge in El Paso, Pueblo, or Larimer County can also be a Domestic Violence offense in Colorado under C.R.S. 18-6-800.3. This is absolutely possible. Nearly every crime under Colorado Statutes can have the Domestic Violence sentence enhancer. Criminal Mischief is no different. In fact, most of the Criminal Mischief cases we see involve Domestic Violence (since the definition of Domestic Violence is written so broadly). We have to fight hard to keep someone from getting a permanent conviction for a DV charge.
Criminal Mischief in Colorado is a serious crime which requires the help of an attorney with experience handling these cases. We fight for you to receive the best possible outcome and stop the government from infringing on your rights. So, if you or a loved one have been charged with this crime, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact us at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.