Criminal mischief charges in Colorado can result when someone knowingly damages another’s property. Penalties are wide-ranging depending on the level of damage and can even apply to items / property jointly owned. Also known as vandalism, criminal mischief charges sometimes coincide with domestic violence, heightening the need for experienced legal representation. Whether property was damaged in a dispute purposefully or accidentally, anyone facing accusations or charges should contact a Colorado criminal mischief attorney right away.
What is the Charge of Criminal Mischief in Colorado?
C.R.S. 18-4-501 outlines the conduct of criminal mischief in Denver, Aurora, Lakewood, and Colorado Springs. Someone commits this crime when they:
- knowingly damage,
- the real or personal property of another,
- including property owned jointly
When personal items or property are destroyed in Colorado, law enforcement adds up the values of the damaged items. The aggregate value (total) determines the severity of the charges. As our personal devices grow in price, so does the potential of more severe criminal charges if they’re knowingly damaged. A simple altercation can lead to significant damage to things like smartphones, watches, or jewelry. Police often inflate the value of items by documenting what they were worth new, instead of current condition. A skilled criminal defense attorney can point out elements like these as part of someone’s defense.
Jail Time for Criminal Mischief in Colorado
Ramifications of a criminal mischief conviction vary from case to case. Again, the total value of destroyed items is a large determining factor. On the lower end, when the total value of damaged property is below $300, a class 3 misdemeanor applies. Consequences can include:
- up to 6 months in county jail,
- fines of $50 – $750
However, criminal mischief reaches a class 6 felony when the total damage is between $1,000 – $5,000. Potential penalties include:
- up to 18 months in prison,
- fines of $1,000 – $100,000
So, think twice before you throw your partner’s new smartphone across the room after they were caught messaging their ex… it could make you a felon.
Colorado Criminal Mischief Attorney
Unfortunately, criminal mischief charges can result from misunderstandings and genuine accidents. Sometimes innocent people are hurled into the justice system and don’t know where to get help. Look no further than the strategic defense attorneys at O’Malley and Sawyer, LLC. We have over 40 years of combined experience successfully representing clients throughout Colorado and our results stand alone. Perhaps property was damaged due to an accident or the value is being embellished. Nevertheless, contact our office for a FREE consultation where we will carefully analyze your unique situation and suggest next steps.
If you or someone you know is facing criminal mischief accusations, be smart. Contact the skilled criminal defense attorneys at O’Malley and Sawyer, LLC at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.
Photo Credit: Pixabay – jankuss