Being accused of vandalism here in Colorado can leave a person facing charges of criminal mischief. Under state law, criminal mischief is the knowing damaging of property that someone else has an ownership interest in.

Just how severe of a charge criminal mischief is and what penalties could be given for a conviction on it depends on the specifics of the allegation.

For one, criminal mischief can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. It is a misdemeanor when the damage done to the property is less than $1,000. It is a felony when the damage is $1,000 or more.

Misdemeanor criminal mischief

Misdemeanor criminal mischief can fall into three misdemeanor classes: class 3, class 2 and class 1. The maximum sentence for an offense can be between six months and 1.5 years, depending on which class the offense is in. Meanwhile, the maximum fine can be between $750 and $5,000. The monetary value of the damage done determines the class:

  • Class 3: Under $300
  • Class 2: At least $300, but under $750
  • Class 1: At least $750, but under $1,000

Felony criminal mischief

Meanwhile, there are five felony classes that felony criminal mischief can fall under: class 6, class 5, class 4, class 3 and class 2. Again, amount of damage determines class. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Class 6: At least $1,000, but under $5,000
  • Class 5: At least $5,000, but under $20,000
  • Class 4: At least $20,000, but under $100,000
  • Class 3: At least $100,000, but under $1,000,000
  • Class 2: Over $1,000,000

Depending on class, the maximum punishments for felony offenses of criminal mischief are:

  • 1.5 years to 24 years for prison time
  • $100,000 to $1,000,000 for fines

Responding to vandalism allegations

So, vandalism allegations can vary greatly in the consequences they could expose a person to. Given this, when a person is accused of vandalizing property, the specific details of the allegations matter greatly. Skilled defense attorneys can help individuals accused of vandalism in Colorado with analyzing the details of the accusations and coming up with a defense strategy tailored to the circumstances.