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What is criminal mischief, and how is it committed?

On Behalf of | Aug 29, 2022 | Criminal Defense, Property Crimes |

There are different types of property crimes a person can face in Colorado. One of them is criminal mischief, which can be perpetrated in a variety of ways.

Criminal mischief in Colorado

In Colorado, a person is considered guilty of criminal mischief if they knowingly and deliberately damage someone else’s personal or real property. Unlike other types of property crimes, this one does not involve stealing. Instead, it involves defacing, breaking or damaging property.

Types of criminal mischief

There are different types of criminal mischief that can be committed. One of the most common is vandalism of a person’s real estate property. Graffiti painted on a building is an example.

Criminal mischief can also occur inside a building. For example, if a person is in an office building and tampers with fire alarms, it is considered a form of this crime. Even setting off smoke bombs counts.

Slashed tires and keying the outside of a person’s car is also considered a way to commit this crime. Deliberately breaking windows by throwing rocks through them can also result in an arrest on criminal mischief charges.

Although it’s often associated with cybercrime, it’s also criminal mischief for a person to introduce a virus to someone else’s personal or work computer.

Penalties for criminal mischief

The exact penalties a person receives for a conviction of criminal mischief depends on the value of the property they damaged. In some cases, the offense is classified as a misdemeanor, but if the property’s value ranges between $1,000 and $5,000 or higher, it could be considered a felony.