In Colorado, tampering with the property of another with the intent to annoy, inconvenience, or interrupt utility service is criminal tampering. The penalties for criminal tampering depend on the reason for tampering and whose property was tampered with. Criminal tampering can result in up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. In this article, our Colorado criminal defense lawyers will address:
- 1. What is criminal tampering in Colorado?
- 2. What is tampering with the property of a utility or institution?
- 3. What are the penalties for first-degree criminal tampering?
- 4. What are the penalties for second-degree criminal tampering?
- 5. Related Offenses
Criminal tampering involves tampering with the property of another with the intent to cause injury, inconvenience, annoyance, or impairment of services. Criminal tampering can be charged as a first, or second-degree offense. Criminal tampering in the first degree involves tampering with the property of an institution or utility that provides health or safety protection.
Tampering in the second degree involves tampering with the property of another with the intent to cause injury, inconvenience, or annoyance. This could include cutting a neighbor's phone line because they talk too loud on the phone late at night.
Second degree tampering also includes making an unauthorized connection with property of a utility. An example could be connecting cable line to your home without authorization.
Tampering with the property of a utility or institution that provides health or safety protection is the more serious offense of criminal tampering in the first degree. This involves tampering with the intent to interrupt or impair service rendered to the public by a utility or institution providing health or safety protection. A utility includes:
- Pipeline providers
- Gas companies
- Electric companies;
- Water companies; and
- Sewer companies. 1
First-degree criminal tampering is class 1 misdemeanor. The penalties for a first-degree criminal tampering conviction include 6 to 18 months in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.2
Second-degree criminal tampering is class 2 misdemeanor. The penalties for a second-degree criminal tampering conviction include 3 to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.3
A person commits criminal mischief in Colorado when he or she knowingly damages the real or personal property of one or more other persons. The penalties for a criminal mischief conviction depend on the value of property damaged. Criminal mischief of property valued at less than $1,000 is a felony, but if the property damage has a value of $1,000 or more, it is a felony.
In Colorado, you commit criminal trespass when you unlawfully enter or remain on someone else's property. Trespass can be in the first, second or third degree, with penalties depending on the type of property involved, and the reason for entering or remaining on the property.
Tampering with a utility meter is a class 2 misdemeanor in Colorado. This involves connecting a pipe, tube, wire, or other instrument to a service pipe supplying gas, water, or electricity, without consent of the utility provider. Tampering with a utility meter can result in up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Call us for help...
If you have been accused of criminal tampering or trespassing, please contact us at Colorado Legal Defense Group. Our caring Colorado defense attorneys have many years of experience representing clients who have been charged with criminal offenses. We are among the best Colorado criminal defense attorneys to call. Contact us today for a free consultation by phone or in-person or in our Denver law office.
- C.R.S. 18-4-505
- C.R.S. 18-4-505
- C.R.S. 40-1-103