In Colorado, an individual commits criminal mischief if he or she damages another person’s property knowingly, including property jointly owned by the alleged victim and the accused person. To be convicted of criminal mischief, it must first be proven that the person acted maliciously. A person cannot be found guilty of criminal mischief if he or she unintentionally damages the property of another.
Depending on the circumstances, many crimes may be labeled as criminal mischief. These include committing vandalism or painting graffiti, slashing tires, tampering with fire alarms or emergency exits, breaking windows, and placing viruses on another person’s computer.
Penalties of Criminal Mischief
How serious a criminal mischief conviction is dependent on the financial damage done to the property. If the total damage amounts to less than $500, the crime is deemed a class 2 misdemeanor. It carries a minimum punishment of a $250 fine and/or three months’ imprisonment and a maximum punishment of a $1,000 fine and/or 12 months’ imprisonment.
If the total damage sustained ranges from $500 to $1,000, then criminal mischief is deemed a class 1 misdemeanor that carries a minimum punishment of a $500 fine and/or three months’ imprisonment. The maximum punishment is a $5,000 fine and/or 18 months’ imprisonment.
If the total damage ranges from $1,000 to $20,000, then criminal mischief is classified as a class 4 felony. It carries a sentence of two years up to six years’ imprisonment.
If the damage amounts to $20,000 or more, then criminal mischief is deemed a class 3 felony carrying a sentence of four up to 12 years’ imprisonment.
Criminal Mischief and Domestic Violence
Criminal mischief may be classified as an act of domestic violence if the accused person damages the property of a person that they have been or are in an intimate relationship with. Note that the damage sustained to the property of another must have been committed as a method of control, revenge, punishment, coercion, or intimidation. If not done under these circumstances, then criminal mischief is not considered an act of domestic violence.
Contact Goldman Law, LLC Today
If you or someone you know has been accused of criminal mischief, our Colorado criminal defense attorneys at Goldman Law, LLC are here to help you.
At Goldman Law, LLC, we will advocate aggressively for your rights, minimize damage as best as we can, and immediately begin crafting a plan to position your case for the best resolution possible. We will do whatever we legally can to get your case dismissed and the charges against your dropped. If dismissal is not feasible, our legal team will strive to have your charges and sentences reduced.
Hiring a criminal defense attorney is the most important decision you can make for your criminal case. To learn more about your rights and receive a professional case evaluation, contact Goldman Law, LLC at (303) 656-9529.