Colorado Springs Criminal Mischief Attorney
What Is Criminal Mischief?
Whenever a person intentionally damages another person’s property without their permission, no matter how severe or minor, it is considered to be a case of criminal mischief.
Criminal mischief is also referred to as malicious mischief and usually involves damages to property and vandalism. Accidental damage is never actually considered as criminal mischief.
Criminal mischief in Colorado Springs is defined as knowingly or intentionally destroying or damaging another person’s property, including personal belongings or even real estate. You can be charged with criminal mischief even if you jointly own the property that you are accused of damaging.
Still, it must be proven in court that the defendant caused the damage willingly.
You have probably seen the tagging or graffiti on old, new, or abandoned buildings, highways, and dumpsters. It is a common criminal mischief violation of municipal ordinance but can be heard in District or County court for misdemeanor or felony if more criminal offenses are added to the case. If the act of painting graffiti or tagging becomes repeat behavior, the defendant may face more serious consequences.
Penalties for Criminal Mischief
The punishment for the destruction of property typically depends on the monetary equivalent of the damage done.
- Less than $300 Damage: Petty Offense – Up to 10 days in jail and/or a $300 fine.
- $300 to $999 Damage: Class 2 Misdemeanor – Up to 120 days in jail and/or up to $750 fine.
- $1,000 to $1,999 Damage: Class 1 Misdemeanor – Up to 364 days in jail and/or up to $1,000 fine.
- $2,000 to $4,999 Damage: Class 6 Felony – Up to 1½ years in State Prison and/or up to $100,000 fine.
- $5000 to $19,999 Damage: Class 5 Felony – Up to 1 to 3 years in State Prison and/or up to $100,000 fine.
- $20,000 to $99,999 Damage: Class 4 Felony – Up to 4 to 12 years in State Prison and/or up to $500,000 fine.
- $100,000 to $999,999 Damage: Class 3 Felony – Up to 4 to 12 years in State Prison and/or up to $750,000 fine.
- $1,000,000+ Damage: Class 2 Felony – Up to 8 to 24 years in State Prison and/or up to $1,000,000 fine.
A Prosecutor Must Prove Criminal Mischief
Just like robbery and burglary, criminal mischief requires the prosecution to provide proof of the defendant being aware of what he/she was doing. It is only theft that requires proof of the defendant planning to deprive the owner of their property.
The property must be owned by 1 or more people, be private, public, or commercial property, or be jointly owned with another. Restitution is measured using the property’s market value or the actual cost of the repair if it’s less than replacement.
Self-defense is not a valid defense to criminal mischief.
Have you been charged with criminal mischief? Remember – the State much prove that you committed criminal mischief. That’s why you need the best criminal defense attorney in Colorado Springs to protect your rights!
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