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

Updated


The crime of criminal mischief in Colorado is when a person knowingly damages the land or personal property of another. This offense is also commonly referred to as vandalismCriminal mischief can be a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the extent of the damage.

Note that a defendant can be convicted of criminal mischief in Colorado even if the defendant jointly owns the property with someone else, or if the defendant owns the property but another person has a possessory or proprietary interest in it.

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.

Common legal defenses

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…

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

A Colorado criminal mischief charge can be quite scary – but we are here to help. Our firm also helps clients with bail and release issues at jails throughout Colorado, including the Broomfield Jail & Detention Center.

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

Colorado Legal Defense Group
4047 Tejon Street
Denver CO 80211
(303) 222-0330

Arrested in California? Read our article on California vandalism laws (Penal Code 594 PC).

Arrested in Nevada? Read our article on Nevada vandalism laws (NRS 206.310).

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