Criminal Mischief Cases
An experienced attorney can help you fight a charge of criminal mischief. At Pearson & Paris, P.C., our 50 years of combined legal experience can be used to protect your rights. Perhaps more importantly, our top criminal defense attorney is a former senior prosecutor who knows how district attorneys handle these cases. That knowledge allows us to create effective strategies ranging from negotiation to courtroom battles.
Whether in the Denver area or anywhere in Colorado, criminal mischief generally occurs where a person knowingly damages the real or personal property of one or more other people, including property owned jointly with another person.
Possible Consequences For Criminal Mischief
Criminal mischief may be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the value of the damage to property. Generally speaking, when the property damage amounts to less than $1,000, it will be charged as a misdemeanor. When the property damage is over $1,000, it will be charged as a felony.
Related charges are defacing public or private property, criminal tampering and littering, and also involve interfering with property rights. These related offenses are all misdemeanors and are punishable by a probationary sentence or a jail sentence of not more than 18 months.
Possible Defenses For Criminal Mischief
Whether a person is charged with criminal mischief, defacing property or other related property crimes, the general approach to defending criminal mischief and related crimes remains the same. First, the person may well reasonably believe that a property owner has consented in the destruction or defacement of the property. This could be especially so when the property is already damaged or when a wall is already tagged with graffiti. Second, in criminal mischief cases, the issue of value must always be closely examined. The value of damage to an item is not what it cost to purchase or what the retail value is of a similar item. The only important value is the amount of the damage done in terms of dollars; stated differently, the cost of repair. In some cases, the issue of the cost of repair may reduce a felony case to a misdemeanor.
The remaining defenses that may be applied in a second-degree murder case apply with equal force to those that may apply in any other criminal case. This includes an analysis of any violation of constitutional rights, such as the right to remain silent, the right to counsel, the right to have any searches and seizures based on probable cause, a proper warrant, and the right to due process in the proper preservation of evidence that may be used against you. Many other defenses are available that rely on scrutinizing and exposing weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case, such as biased or incompetent witnesses, flawed crime scene investigation, flawed administration and procedures in collecting breath, blood or urine for forensic testing, incompetent computer evidence, flawed photo lineups and inaccurate crime scene/accident reconstructions.
It is important that you hire a skilled and experienced criminal mischief lawyer to defend you in a criminal mischief case in Golden, Jefferson County, or across Colorado.