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What’s considered defacing property in Colorado?

On Behalf of | Nov 3, 2021 | Property Crimes |

Property damage can be devastating for Colorado home and business owners as well as for state agencies. The perpetrators may not think that it is such a big deal, but law enforcement takes it seriously, however.

What does it mean to deface property?

By law, anyone who defaces private or public property is committing a class 2 misdemeanor. There are a few acts that counts as defacing property, including:

  • Breaking or destroying historical monuments
  • Breaking natural caves on public or private property
  • Permanently altering the surface of any public property

When most people hear of defacing property, they might envision spray paint across a wall. This is just one way in which the surface of a property can be defaced.

Natural resources – like caves – that are altered or broken in anyway also counts as defaced public property. Breaking or removing parts of the cave can also be considered defacing property and can be punished as such.

What are the punishments for defacing property?

Since it’s a class 2 misdemeanor, the court has more flexibility with how punishments are served. The court can demand that the person cleans up the defaced property themselves in addition to or instead of paying a fine.

If the defaced property can’t be repaired, then the court will make the person responsible for the damages replace the damaged property or pay the property owner accordingly. Compensation can be limited to $2,500.

If the offender is charged with defacing property more than once, or twice within a given period, it’s changed to a class 1 misdemeanor. In addition to the punishment that the court deals out, the offender might have to pay a fine of $750.