Loveland Vandalism Attorney
Vandalism, also known as criminal mischief, is a criminal offense. If you are charged with vandalism or criminal mischief, you will need an experienced Loveland vandalism attorney to vigorously protect your rights.
Vandalism Is A Deliberate Act
Any deliberate act with the intention of destroying or defacing private or public property is classified as vandalism. It includes acts such as trashing school buildings, stealing and/or damaging cars, lighting fires, spray-painting graffiti, and knocking over mailboxes.
Even though teen pranksters have been at it for many years, nowadays, pranks have more serious consequences and penalties.
Remember, vandalism can happen on both private and public properties. This crime can involve the injury, modification, defacement, destruction, injury, or disfigurement of another person or party’s property without their consent. Here are some items that are covered under vandalism laws:
- Keying, spray painting cars
- Smoke bombs
- Breaking windows
- Tampering with emergency exits
- Damaging schools
- Interfering with utility meters
- Vending machines
- Slashing tires
- Vending machines
- Marking Sidewalks
The state law in Colorado states that vandalism occurs when an individual intentionally damages the real or personal property of one or more individuals. However, vandalism doesn’t include stealing. It only covers the breaking, damaging, or defacing of another individual’s property.
Given that in Colorado, such a crime needs to be committed knowingly, it makes it impossible to commit criminal mischief accidentally. For instance, if a person is spray-painting their furniture and accidentally get paint on their neighbor’s fence, they can not be charged with vandalism.
But if a person intentionally spray paints their neighbor’s fence without their consent, they will be charged with criminal mischief.
Penalties for Vandalism or Criminal Mischief
The penalties for criminal mischief will vary depending on the amount of alleged damage:
- Below $300: Class 3 Misdemademeanor – a maximum of 6 months in jail
- $300 – $750: Class 2 Misdemeanor – a maximum of 12 months in jail
- $750 – $1000: Class 1 Misdemeanor – a maximum jail sentence of 18 months
- $1000 – $5000: Class 6 Felony – a maximum prison sentence of 18 months
- $5000 – $20,000: Class 5 Felony – a maximum of 3 years in prison
- $20,000 – $100,000: Class 4 Felony – a maximum prison sentence of 6 years
- $100,000 – $1,000,000: Class 3 Felony – a maximum of 12 years in prison
- $1,000,000 or above: a maximum of 24 years in prison
Regardless of whether you committed any of these acts as a prank or not, in the event that you are accused of the crime, you will be held fully accountable for the damage or destruction you might have caused.
For individuals who have a previous conviction of criminal or gang activity crime, their charges may be advanced from a misdemeanor to a felony.
Keep in mind that the penalties outlined above are just but simple guidelines. One needs to be aware of the fact that the final decision lies on the judge presiding over the case. Depending on the circumstances, the judge might consider doubling the maximum sentences. You should note that charges for criminal mischief can’t be sealed from one’s criminal record not unless their case gets dismissed.
With such high stakes, it is in your best interest to seek the services of a seasoned and knowledgeable criminal attorney.
How A Vandalism Attorney Can Defend You
While each case is unique, when it comes to vandalism or criminal mischief cases, some defenses are more common than others. To protect your constitutional rights and ensure the best outcome for your case, your vandalism attorney will thoroughly investigate your case and prepare for trial. The aim is always to get the case dismissed, poke holes in your case so as to get a favorable plea bargain or win your case at trial.
You should not let one simple mistake ruin your life.
If you or a loved one have been charged with criminal mischief or vandalism in Loveland, Fort Collins, or surrounding areas, including Berthoud, Laporte, the experienced team at Ash McCuaig can provide the necessary legal assistance.
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