In the field of criminal law, some crimes are treated more harshly than others. Still, any conviction can have a lasting effect on your life. Therefore, it makes sense to mount a robust criminal defense against any allegations. Charges of vandalism may seem insignificant, but the consequences of conviction are more serious than you may realize.
Colorado vandalism laws are broad so that a variety of behaviors are addressed. Some examples of vandalism in the state include the following.
- Defacing property with graffiti and so-called artwork
- Breaking windows and otherwise damaging another’s property
- Altering or removing street signs
- Slashing tires and intentionally scratching the paint off a vehicle
- Damaging benches or other items in a park
Even “egging” someone’s property is usually treated as vandalism
The consequences upon conviction of vandalism, which falls under the state’s criminal mischief statutes, can be quite significant. Courts usually hand down sentences based in part on the amount of damage caused by the defendant’s actions.
Even the least serious class 3 misdemeanor charge can result in up to a $750 fine as well as a jail term of up to six months. In cases of felony charges, a convicted defendant may face thousands of dollars in fines and a jail sentence of several years. In the most severe cases, defendants may receive a sentence of up to 84 years in jail accompanied by a fine of $5,000 to $1,000,000.
Fortunately, a strong criminal defense can protect you from having to face the most serious penalties. An experienced attorney can help protect your rights and present your case.