Have you ever broken something of someone else in anger or frustration? Have you ever hit your fist through a wall or thrown something during a fight you were having with your spouse? If you have, you could have been charged with Criminal Mischief in Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas County and you need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Elements and Classification of This Property Damage Crime
Criminal mischief involves knowingly breaking the property of someone else, or property owned by you and another. This crime can be charged by police in Northglenn, Centennial, and Littleton as a class 2 misdemeanor all the way to a class 3 felony. The possible jail / prison sentence varies from 1 year to over eight (8) years in the Department of Corrections (DOC or prison). A judge can give a lengthy prison sentence as punishment for a Criminal Mischief conviction.
The severity of the charge will be based upon the dollar value of the item or items destroyed. One important note: the value of the item can be distorted by the police, district attorney, or the victim’s advocate assigned to your case. You need to hire an attorney to handle your criminal case to ensure that this does not happen because value = severity of charges.
Defenses to Criminal Mischief in Colorado
Are there any defenses which could apply to your case? For instance, what if a child is locked in a car and you break the window of the car to get the child to safety? Maybe you broke the item in self defense during a fight. There are many options available for you to fight allegations of Criminal Mischief. Other examples of defenses include alibi statements from witnesses, or outright lying by the complaining party (the person who is claiming you broke their property). A criminal lawyer can help you understand the many affirmative defense arguments which apply to allegations of Colorado law violations in Denver, Jefferson, and Weld County.
For a destruction of property (criminal mischief) charge, you need to hire a lawyer / attorney able to help you navigate pitfalls in the court process. We will fight hard to obtain the best possible result for your case. So, if you or a loved one have been charged with Criminal Mischief, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact the attorneys at O’Malley Law Officer at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.