Colorado Springs Vandalism Defense Lawyers
Defending Against Criminal Mischief Charges in CO
Whether you weren’t thinking or made an honest mistake, vandalism charges can lead to serious criminal consequences, from jail time to hefty fines. While it can be easy to perceive vandalism as innocent fun or teenage shenanigans, a vandalism conviction can result in serious criminal penalties, even for young defendants and first-time offenders.
If you were accused of vandalism in Colorado, securing an experienced defense is crucial to avoid the lasting penalties of a conviction. Fortunately, our knowledgeable vandalism attorneys have nearly twenty years of experience defending against vandalism charges in Colorado Springs. If you’re facing criminal mischief charges, turn to The Gasper Law Group to defend your rights and protect your freedom.
What Constitutes Vandalism?
Vandalism or “criminal mischief” is a criminal offense codified in Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.) §18-4-501. Under state law, a person commits vandalism or criminal mischief when they “knowingly damage the real or personal property of one or more other persons.” Common examples of vandalism include:
- Graffiti or tagging property without permission
- Vandalizing public restrooms, parks, or recreational facilities
- Property damage, such as breaking windows, doors, or fences
- Destruction or alteration of public or private signs, posters, or billboards
- Damaging or destroying vehicles, including keying cars or puncturing tires
- Defacing public or private property with paint, markers, or other substances
- Tampering with or damaging public transportation infrastructure, such as buses or trains
- Breaking or damaging streetlights, traffic signs, or traffic signals
- Knocking over or damaging public statues or monuments
- Starting a fire or committing arson to damage property
Common Defense Strategies Against Vandalism
If you’ve been charged with vandalism in Colorado Springs, securing a strong defense is crucial to defend your freedom. Our firm can evaluate the unique circumstances of your case to determine an effective defense to employ on your behalf.
There are various strategies to defend against vandalism, such as:
- Challenging the evidence: The prosecution bears the burden of proof of proving “beyond a reasonable doubt” that you committed vandalism. When necessary, our defense lawyers can challenge any inadmissible or insufficient evidence against you to reduce or drop the charges you’re facing.
- Mistaken identity: If the allegations against you are false because your identity was mistaken for another, our seasoned attorneys can argue this in court to clear your name and protect your hard-earned reputation.
- Lack of intent: To successfully convict you of the charges you’re facing, the prosecution must prove that you acted with criminal intent to commit the offense. If no such intent occurred, our attorneys can fight to get the charges dismissed.
- Duress or coercion: If you were coerced or under duress at the time you committed the vandalism offense, our skilled negotiators can help gather relevant evidence to prove your innocence in criminal court.
- Unconstitutional search: If your constitutional rights were violated at the time of the offense, such as evidence being obtained during an illegal search that violated your Fourth Amendment rights, our determined lawyers can fight to get the evidence dismissed from the criminal proceedings.
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Gasper Law Group is great to work with. I recently did Estate Planning and they were awesome. Explained everything thoroughly. Emily, Jack, Therese , Holly, and Emily are all very professional. If you need any Legal advice or assistance reach out to the Gasper Law Group. 5 star service.- Ruby D.
Caryn Adams and her team are hands down the BEST. I don't think I would have made it through what I went through without her by my side. My charges were dropped and we walked away with all parental rights/custody and a restraining order against the other party.- Avarie J.
Christine, Kris, and Ebony are amazing and compassionate. We enjoyed every interaction. Gasper Law firm keeps appropriate communication and not in excess which keeps our cost low. We are so very grateful. Even if an unexpected turn in our guardianship hearing they remained diligent to ensure things were done in a timely manner. Thank you so much! You helped complete our family and we are forever grateful.- Misty M.
Caryn Adams, Stacey Sadler and the rest of the team at the Gasper law group are an amazing, courteous, compassionate, and very helpful group of talented individuals. I was in a bind and during my consultation I explained my situation and they went above and beyond my expectations. They took care of my case in a very timely manner and made it feel like my traffic ticket was their number one and only priority. I have never been treated with such respect and compassion. I definitely recommend talking to them about any of your legal needs.- Scott R.
After an absolutely crazy incident that could not have been seen almost anywhere besides a movie. I received some serious charges and was in search of an attorney. They would not only represent me but need to do the right thing because it's the right thing...- Lance F.
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I, unfortunately, was involved with two separate situations within a few years of each other, which left me in quite a bind both times. I was lucky enough to have Caryn assist me in both cases and was absolutely floored with the knowledge and expertise that not only she carries, but the firm as a whole. One of the best, if not the best lawyers I've ever come across. Extremely nice and very honest. I was able to resolve my situations with minimal impact and continue my life without fear of being held back.- Former Client
Penalties for Vandalism in Colorado
Like any crime, the penalties for vandalism can vary depending on specific factors, namely the monetary value of the property damage. Vandalism offenses can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies depending on the circumstances of the case. Consider the following overview of penalties for vandalism misdemeanors vs. felonies:
Under Colorado law, vandalism misdemeanors can result in various penalties. These include:
- Property damage totaling less than $300: This is generally charged as a “petty offense” or Class 3 misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and $50 to $750 in fines.
- Property damage totaling $300 to $750: This offense is considered a Class 2 misdemeanor punishable by 3 to 12 months in jail and $250 to $1,000 in fines.
- Property damage totaling $750 to $1,000: This is typically charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by 6 to 18 months in jail and $500 to $5,000 in fines.
In cases involving expensive losses and extensive property damage, defendants can face felony charges after committing vandalism. The penalties for vandalism felonies include:
- Property damage totaling $1,000 to $5,000: Unlike the charges above, this offense is typically charged as a Class 6 felony. A conviction is punishable by 1 to 1.5 years in state prison and $1,000 to $100,000 in fines.
- Property damage totaling $5,000 to $20,000: This is a Class 5 felony punishable by 1 to 3 years of imprisonment and $1,000 to $100,000 in fines.
- Property damage totaling $20,000 to $100,000: This is typically charged as a Class 4 felony punishable by 4 to 6 years in prison and $2,000 to $500,000 in fines.
- Property damage totaling $100,000 to $1,000,000: This is considered a Class 3 felony punishable by 4 to 12 years in prison and $3,000 to $750,000 in fines.
- Property damage totaling more than $1 million: Vandalism convictions resulting in more than $1 million in losses is considered a Class 2 felony punishable by 8 to 24 years in prison and up to $1 million in fines.
Aggressively Defending Against Vandalism Charges
At The Gasper Law Group, our firm has handled thousands of cases in Colorado Springs and beyond. Our dedicated attorneys have a diverse legal background and skillset to represent clients facing a variety of lawsuits, from DUI defense to child custody disputes. Whether you require an aggressive defense in criminal court or are seeking sound counsel to navigate a contentious divorce, our team has nearly two decades of experience providing skilled representation to individuals and families in life’s most challenging seasons.
Our Colorado Springs attorneys represent the accused throughout El Paso County. Contact us online to consult with an experienced defense lawyer.