District Attorneys in Arapahoe, and Douglas County charge people with the crime of Criminal Tampering all too often. While the criminal act that is outlawed by the statute for First Degree Criminal Tampering, C.R.S. 18-4-505, is pretty clear, the acts that can lead a person to be charged with Second Degree Criminal Tampering (messing with the property of another), C.R.S. 18-4-506, are not easily understood. In fact, the statute does not even define the term “tampering”. The punishment associated with these charges can also vary depending on the actual act committed. Fortunately, it is a misdemeanor in all cases.
Criminal Tampering Lawyer – First Degree and Second Degree Tampering in Jefferson and Adams County
Unlike charges of Theft and Criminal Mischief, Criminal Tampering is distinguished by the specific act of the crime and not the dollar value associated with the damage caused from the act. For example, the punishment for the crime of theft is based upon the value of the item(s) taken. However, courts in Jefferson and Adams County base the punishment for the act of tampering on the type of property of another which was involved: Public property vs. private property.
For instance, if you were to look at a video on someone else’s Ipad without their permission, you could be charged with Second Degree Criminal Tampering in Boulder and Clear Creek County. However, if you tap into the power lines to disrupt the power supply in Englewood, Lakewood, or Aurora, you could be charged with First Degree Criminal Tampering, a class one misdemeanor in Elbert County. Public property is much more serious.
An Attorney’s View of Criminal Tampering and How It’s Punishment is Determined
The difference in the punishment for First and Second Degree Tampering is as different as the type of crime. Criminal Tampering in the First Degree is a class 1 misdemeanor. This means that you could be facing a jail sentence of up to 18 months and a fine of up to $5,000.00. On the other hand, criminal acts that only arise to Second Degree are charged as a class 2 misdemeanor. For these lesser crimes, the maximum punishment is one year in jail and up to a $1,000.00 fine. Either way, I don’t know many people who would willingly subject themselves to a possible punishment in county jail for a year or more.
People who are facing charges like these need a criminal defense lawyer that knows how to fight these charges. A good criminal attorney will be able to distinguish the crime of tampering with someone’s things from the act and fight the government’s attempts to redefine that strict language in the statute.
So, if you have been contacted by the police for a crime involving First and Second Degree Criminal Tampering, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us immediately at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.