People throughout Colorado can be charged with Criminal Mischief after damaging someone's property. Even if damage is done by accident, law enforcement is quick to charge while applying sometimes unreasonable cost evaluation to the damaged property. By doing this, the severity of the crime increases. It is important that you contact and hire an experienced criminal mischief attorney from O'Malley and Sawyer if you're facing charges. We can help you navigate the legal system.
Criminal Mischief Attorney | Definitions in Colorado
The definition of Criminal Mischief, C.R.S. 18-4-501 is:
- “A person commits criminal mischief when he or she knowingly damages the real or personal property of one or more other persons, including property owned by the person jointly with another person or property owned by the person in which another person has a possessory or proprietary interest, in the course of a single criminal episode.”
The term property itself can include a great deal of items. When multiple possessions are damaged in an act of criminal mischief, the cost of repair / replacement can balloon quickly. Consequently, this directly impacts the severity of charge and potential conviction.
Personal Property in Criminal Mischief
There is often confusion surrounding co-owned property involved with an act of criminal mischief. If you and an alleged victim both own an item damaged, it is not a defense to reference the co-ownership. If an item is said to be damaged in the incident, an alleged victim might try to claim that it is worth far more than its actual value. This is often done out of anger or bitterness. As a result, the criminal mischief charge gets steeper and can approach felony range. There can also be a domino effect when it comes to criminal mischief. In damaging something of value, another item may have been damaged in gaining access to the item such as windows, safes, etc. Therefore, it is essential to consult a professional criminal mischief attorney to work with authorities and fight for the best possible outcome.
Sentencing for Criminal Mischief in Colorado
Conviction of criminal mischief in Colorado ranges from a misdemeanor to a felony. The key determining factor is the financial sum of damage. Below is a brief breakdown:
- damage total < $300 = class 3 misdemeanor
- damage total between $300 – $749 = class 2 misdemeanor
- damage total between $750 – $999 = class 1 misdemeanor
- damage total between $1,000 – $4,999 = class 6 felony
- damage total between $5,000 – $19,999 = class 5 felony
- damage total between $20,000 – $99,999 = class 4 felony
- damage total between $100,000 – $999,999 = class 3 felony
- damage total $1,000,000 or more = class 2 felony
As you can see, the more value that can be assigned to items damaged, the greater the conviction. Inflating value in these cases is unfair and should be handled by an expert defense lawyer with your well-being in mind.
If you or someone you know is facing criminal mischief charges, call today to setup a free consultation. Contact the top rated defense attorneys at O'Malley and Sawyer at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.
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