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Colorado Second Degree Criminal Tampering

Colorado Springs Second Degree Criminal Tampering Lawyer

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Colorado Statute CRS 18-4-506—second-degree criminal tampering—is a Class 2 misdemeanor punishable by up to 120 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $750. It is defined as tampering with property with intent to cause injury, inconvenience, or annoyance to another person or knowingly creating an unauthorized connection with utility property.

Penalties for Second 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)

Possible Defenses for Second-Degree Criminal Tampering in Colorado

Second-degree criminal tampering charges are less severe than first-degree criminal tampering. Still, a conviction can result in jail time, fines, and a criminal record.

Misdemeanor or not, pleading guilty to a criminal charge without consulting a criminal defense attorney is never in your best interest. You may have other options available. Before a conviction can occur, the prosecutor must prove your charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

The elements required to make a conviction for second-degree criminal tampering in Colorado are as follows:

  • You were tampering with another person’s property
  • You intended to cause injury, annoyance, or inconvenience to another person
  • You knowingly made an unauthorized connection with the property of a utility (electric, water, natural gas, etc.)

Depending on the circumstances of your case, a Colorado criminal defense attorney may be able to get your charges reduced or dismissed by using the following defense strategies.

  1. You were not tampering with another person’s property
  2. You were unaware that you were making an unauthorized connection with the property of a utility
  3. You did not intend to cause harm, annoyance, or inconvenience to another person
  4. The prosecution cannot prove the elements of conviction beyond a reasonable doubt

The options available in your case will be unique to your situation. By consulting a Colorado criminal defense attorney, you will get an honest assessment of the charges against you and a plan to move forward.

Colorado Revised Statutes, CRS 18-4-506:

Except as provided in sections 18-4-506.3 and 18-4-506.5, a person commits the crime of second degree criminal tampering if he tampers with property of another with intent to cause injury, inconvenience, or annoyance to that person or to another or if he knowingly makes an unauthorized connection with property of a utility. Second degree criminal tampering is a class 2 misdemeanor.

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

Whether an unauthorized cable line or tampering with a neighbor’s property – whatever has you facing a second-degree criminal tampering charge, you’re in a tough spot. At Right Law Group, we are committed to helping you set things right by educating you on the charges against you and possible defenses to reduce or eliminate the consequences. We’ve helped over 2,500 Colorado Springs residents protect themselves against criminal charges – contact our team today to discuss your options.

Don’t let one wrong decision impact your life, job or freedom.

Call today for a free case evaluation.

Colorado criminal procedure

  • Arrest or
    Summons
    01

    Arrest or
    Summons

    The process begins with either an arrest or a summons. The accused is either arrested or served with paperwork summoning them to appear in court. During an arrest, Miranda rights may or may not be read to you. Officers are only required to recite your rights if they intend to question you about potentially incriminating things.

  • Bond Hearing
    02

    Bond Hearing

    In most cases, you're entitled to have a reasonable bond set after you've been arrested. In situations involving domestic violence, the police will request input from the victim before setting a bond. Bonds are set to ensure that a person appears in court at their court dates. If they don’t show up, they forfeit the money that was paid for the bond.

  • Advisement of
    Charges
    03

    Advisement of
    Charges

    Whether you are arrested or given a summons to appear, the court must make sure you understand what crimes you are being accused of committing. This is called advisement of charges. The District Attorney will detail the specific charges against you, and the Judge has to make sure you understand what possible penalties are associated with that charge in the state.

  • Preliminary Hearing
    (for Higher Felony
    Charges)
    04

    Preliminary Hearing
    (for Higher Felony
    Charges)

    A preliminary hearing is a way for your defense attorney to challenge the District Attorney’s right to bring charges against you by making them prove that there is reason to believe you committed a crime. The Judge is not deciding your guilt or innocence, but rather whether or not there is probable cause to charge you with the crime in question.

  • Pretrial Conference /
    Disposition
    Hearing
    05

    Pretrial Conference /
    Disposition
    Hearing

    This court date comes after your attorney has reviewed all of the reports and evidence in your case. Here’s where your attorney will engage in plea negotiations with the DA. If they can reach an agreement on the case, you may be able to take a plea bargain. If they cannot reach a resolution, your case will be set for an arraignment or trial date.

  • Arraignment
    06

    Arraignment

    An arraignment is the final date for you to decide how you choose to plea. Guilty or not guilty. If you plead guilty, then the case is set for a sentencing date. If you plead not guilty, you and your attorney will then set the case for trial.

  • Motions Hearing
    07

    Motions Hearing

    A motion hearing is when an attorney makes a request that requires a decision from the judge. For example, motions to suppress evidence or statements. These motions can limit the information that goes before a jury if it benefits your case, and there are legal grounds for doing so.

  • Pretrial Readiness
    Conference
    08

    Pretrial Readiness
    Conference

    A pretrial readiness conference is held at some point before trial. It usually is held about a week to a month before the date trial is set to begin. This court date ensures everyone is ready to go to trial on the set date. It is also a time for lawyers to bring up any issues they may have to be addressed before the day of trial.

  • Jury Trial
    09

    Jury Trial

    After a jury is selected for trial, the District Attorney’s responsibility is to present the case to the jury. The DA must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the crime. Otherwise, the jury must find you innocent. Your attorney will be able to cross-examine all of the witnesses, present evidence, and ultimately help you navigate this process.

  • Sentencing
    Date
    10

    Sentencing
    Date

    At sentencing, the Judge must decide the appropriate legal penalty for the crime you plead guilty. The Judge’s decision is based on the listed penalties for the specific charge, recommendations from the presentence investigation, your criminal history, as well as statements made at the sentencing by the District Attorney, your attorney, you, and any named victims of the crime.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are examples of second-degree criminal tampering in Colorado?

When someone tampers with someone else’s property or creates an unauthorized connection to a utility, it constitutes second-degree criminal tampering in Colorado. Examples can include cutting a neighbor’s phone lines or establishing an unauthorized cable line.

Will I go to jail for a second-degree criminal tampering charge in Colorado?

A second-degree criminal tampering charge can result in a jail sentence of up to 120 days. So, yes, if convicted, you could go to jail. A Colorado criminal defense attorney can attempt to help you avoid jail time and other consequences by defending you against the charges.

How long will a second-degree criminal tampering charge stay on your record in Colorado?

A second-degree criminal tampering charge is a Class 2 misdemeanor, which means it must remain on your criminal record for two years following your sentence before you can petition the court for expungement.

What is the difference between second-degree and first-degree criminal tampering charges in Colorado?

A first-degree criminal tampering charge is:

  • Tampering with the property of a utility with the intention of causing interruption or impairment of service rendered to the public by a utility or institution providing health or safety protection. It is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

A second-degree criminal tampering charge is:

  • Tampering with another person’s property with the intent of causing injury, inconvenience, or annoyance to the person; or knowingly making an unauthorized connection with utility property. It is a Class 2 misdemeanor.