Colorado "Criminal Mischief" Laws
(18-4-501 C.R.S.)

businesswoman smashing laptop computer in office

Damaging someone's property is criminal mischief in Colorado

Section 18-4-501 (1) of the Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.) provides:

A person commits criminal mischief when he or she knowingly damages the real or personal property of one or more other persons, including property owned by the person jointly with another person or property owned by the person in which another person has a possessory or proprietary interest, in the course of a single criminal episode.

Our Colorado criminal defense lawyers and Denver domestic violence attorneys know that criminal mischief charges often arise out of domestic disputes. And when they do, Colorado's domestic violence sentencing laws will place you under a mandatory domestic violence protective order -- even if the property damage was accidental.

Consequences of a criminal mischief conviction

Penalties for criminal mischief in Colorado depend entirely on the aggregate value of the property damaged:

Less than $300

Colorado class 3 misdemeanor with possible penalties of:

  • Up to 6 months in jail, and/or
  • A fine of $50-$750.

$300 or more, but less than $750

Colorado class 2 misdemeanor with possible penalties of:

  • 3 - 12 months in jail, and/or
  • A fine of $250-$1,000.

$750 or more, but less than $1,000

Colorado class 1 misdemeanor with possible penalties of:

  • 6 -18 months in jail, and/or
  • A fine of $500-$5,000.

$1,000 or more, but less than $5,000

Colorado class 6 felony with possible penalties of:

  • 1 – 1 ½ years in prison, and/or
  • A fine of $1,000-$100,000.

$5,000 or more, but less than $20,000

Colorado class 5 felony with possible penalties of:

  • 1 - 3 years in prison, and/or
  • A fine of $1,000-$100,000.

$20,000 or more, but less than $100,000

Colorado class 4 felony with possible penalties of:

  • 2 - 6 years in prison, and/or
  • A fine of $2,000-$500,000.

$100,000 or more, but less than $1,000,000

Colorado class 3 felony with possible penalties of:

  • 4 - 12 years in prison, and/or
  • A fine of $3,000-$750,000.

$1,000,000 or more

Colorado class 2 felony with possible penalties of:

  • 8 - 24 years in prison, and/or
  • A fine of $5,000-$1,000,000.

Defending criminal mischief charges

The best defense to a charge of Colorado criminal mischief depends on the facts of your cases. Criminal mischief defenses in Colorado often include, however:

  • No property was destroyed.
  • Property was destroyed, but you didn't do it.
  • It was an accident.
  • The property was worth much less than claimed.

Call us for help…

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Criminal mischief charges are often brought when something of value is damaged or destroyed during an argument – even if the damage was accidental.

As a result, innocent people end up having to go through the often-frightening process of arrest, jail and arraignment based on a simple misunderstanding.

If you or someone you know has been accused of criminal mischief in Colorado, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation. One of our experienced Colorado criminal defense lawyers or our caring Denver domestic violence attorneys will get back to you quickly to discuss your case.

A Colorado criminal mischief charge can be quite scary – but we are here to help.

Contact us through the form on this page, or call us at our centrally located Denver office:

Colorado Legal Defense Group
1400 16th Street
16 Market Square
Denver CO 80202
720-955-6112 

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