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CRS 18-4-505

Colorado First-Degree Criminal Tampering

Colorado Statute CRS 18-4-505—or first-degree criminal tampering—is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail and/or a fine up to $1,000. It is defined as tampering with the property of a public utility or institution with the intent to interrupt or impair service.

Let’s face it. Life happens.

No one wants to get in trouble, but when it happens, what do you do?

If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, the best decision you can make is to
hire a good criminal defense attorney. With the right defense lawyer in your corner, you
will be advised and guided towards the best outcome for your case.

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Penalties for First-Degree Criminal Tampering in Colorado

Charge Classification Penalty
First-Degree Criminal Tampering Class 1 Misdemeanor
  • Up to 364 days in jail and/or
  • A fine of up to $1,000
Second-Degree Criminal Tampering Class 2 Misdemeanor
  • Up to 120 days in jail and/or
  • A fine of up to $750
(Colo. Rev. Stat. § § 18-4-505, 18-4-506)

Here Is What The Prosecution Must Prove to Convict You of First Degree Criminal Tampering

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The elements of the crime of criminal tampering in the first degree are:

  1. That the defendant,
  2. in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged,
  3. with intent,
  4. to cause interruption or impairment of a service rendered to the public by a utility or by an institution providing health or safety protection,
  5. tampered with property of a utility or institution, and
  6.  his [her] conduct did not constitute the crime of tampering with equipment associated with oil or gas gathering operations, or the crime of tampering with a utility meter.
  7. If there is an affirmative defense raised, the prosecution must also prove that the defendant’s conduct was not legally authorized by the affirmative defense.

Possible Defenses for First-Degree Criminal Tampering in Colorado

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Criminal tampering charges—whether first- or second-degree—can result in jail time and thousands of dollars in fines. But before you can be convicted of a crime, the prosecution must prove you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

For a first-degree criminal tampering charge, the prosecution must prove the following elements:

  • The defendant tampered with the property of a utility or institution providing health or safety protection
  • The defendant did so intending to cause interruption or impairment of service

A Colorado defense attorney may be able to help you reduce or dismiss your charges by building a defense strategy on your behalf. Possible defenses for first-degree criminal tampering include:

  • You weren’t tampering with the property of a utility or institution providing health or safety protection
  • You had no intention of causing interruption or impairment of service
  • The prosecution is unable to prove the elements of conviction beyond a reasonable doubt

A Class 1 Misdemeanor conviction in Colorado Springs will stay on your record for three years following the end of your sentence. That’s three years of damage to your reputation, missed opportunities, and reduced quality of life.

Don’t leave your livelihood up to chance. Consult with a qualified Colorado criminal defense attorney at Right Law Group.

Colorado Revised Statutes, CRS 18-4-505:

Except as provided in sections 18-4-506.3 and 18-4-506.5, a person commits the crime of first degree criminal tampering if, with intent to cause interruption or impairment of a service rendered to the public by a utility or by an institution providing health or safety protection, he tampers with property of a utility or institution. First degree criminal tampering is a class 1 misdemeanor.

Have you been charged with first-degree criminal tampering in Colorado Springs or El Paso County?

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If you face a first-degree criminal tampering charge, speaking with an experienced Colorado criminal defense attorney may help your case. At Right Law Group, we’ve resolved criminal charges for more than 2,500 Colorado residents, helping them get back on their feet. We’ll build a solid attorney-client relationship, and give you an honest assessment of the charges against you and possible defense strategies to help you protect your rights. Let’s discuss your case. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

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What are examples of public utilities in Colorado Springs?

Public utilities in Colorado Springs include:

  • Denver Water
  • Colorado Natural Gas
  • Xcel Energy
  • Colorado Sewer Service

What are some examples of first-degree criminal tampering in Colorado?

Colorado law defines first-degree criminal tampering as tampering with the property of a public utility or institution intending to interrupt or impair a service rendered to the public. Examples can include shutting off power to a hospital or intentionally tampering with gas, water, or sewer utilities.

Areas Served

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El Paso County

Douglas County

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Arapahoe County

  • Centennial
  • Englewood
  • Greenwood Village
  • Cherry Hills Village
  • Foxfield
  • Sheridan
  • Columbine Valley
  • Byers
  • Southglenn
  • Castlewood
  • Peoria

Pueblo County

Teller County

Fremont County

  • Coaldale
  • Cotopaxi
  • Hillside
  • Howard
  • Texas Creek
  • Wellsville