Criminal mischief generally refers to the knowing damage of property and can also be thought of as vandalism. Criminal mischief can range from defacing property with graffiti, keying a car, to the actual destruction of property such as smashing a cell phone.
In Colorado criminal mischief occurs where a person knowingly damages the real or personal property of another person. This can include property owned by the person committing the damage if it is jointly owned with someone else. It’s important to note that the law does not require the “intentional” damaging of property, so a person need not act with the specific purpose to damage property. However, so long as they knew that property damage would result, this is sufficient for criminal mischief to apply.
Colorado Criminal Mischief Laws Colorado Revised Statute 18-4-501
Criminal Mischief can be charged as low as a class 3 misdemeanor up to a class 2 felony, depending on the value of the property damaged. For more information on criminal mischief laws in Colorado, consult the chart below.
Penalties and Sentences
- Less than $300: Class 3 Misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and up to $750 in fines
- Between $300 and $750: Class 2 Misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in prison and up to $1,000 in fines
- Between $750 and $1,000: Class 1 Misdemeanor punishable by up to 1.5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines
- Between $1,000 and $5,000: Class 6 Felony punishable by up to 1.5 years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines
- Between $5,000 and $20,000: Class 5 Felony punishable by up to 3 years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines
- Between $20,000 and $100,000: Class 4 Felony punishable by up to 6 years in prison and up to $500,000 in fines
- Between $100,000 and $1 Million: Class 3 Felony punishable by up to 12 years in prison and up to $750,000 in fines
- Over $1 Million: Class 2 Felony punishable by up to 24 years in prison and up to $1 million in fines
Facing Criminal Mischief Charges in Colorado? We Can Help
Colorado criminal mischief laws are fairly straight-forward as they only require the knowing destruction of another’s property. However, the wide range of penalties and offense levels mean you should have a criminal defense lawyer fighting for you. If you’re facing criminal mischief charges, having an experienced Colorado criminal defense lawyer at your side can make a world of difference.