Criminal Tampering in Colorado
Criminal Tampering in Colorado
A person commits the crime of tampering when they tamper with another person’s or entity’s property with the intent to cause substantial inconvenience to the party. There are different types of criminal tampering that are accompanied by different penalties. One of the most important things you can do after being charged with criminal tampering is to hire an experienced Colorado Springs criminal tampering lawyer.
When Should I Call a Colorado Springs Criminal Tampering Attorney?
If you have been accused of criminal tampering, it is important to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. A Colorado Springs criminal tampering attorney will ensure that your rights are protected, assess the charges, and help build a defense against the charge.
Without a strong defense, you could find yourself spending significant time in jail or facing significant fines. A criminal tampering attorney will help relieve the stress you are facing by providing an honest assessment of your case, ensuring you meet all deadlines for filing documents and appearing in court, and advocating tirelessly on your behalf.
Types of Criminal Tampering Charges in Colorado
Colorado has several laws on the books prohibiting different types of tampering. Any charge of criminal tampering has the potential of placing you in jail or paying significant fines. Read on to understand the different types of criminal tampering in Colorado.
Criminal Tampering in the First-Degree
A party is guilty of criminal tampering in the first-degree if they tamper with property or a utility with the purpose of causing interruption or impairment of a service rendered to the public by a utility or an institution providing health or safety protection. First-degree criminal tampering is a class 1 misdemeanor.
For example, any individual who intentionally tampers with utilities like gas, water, sewer, or electricity would be guilty of first-degree criminal tampering.
Criminal Tampering in the Second-Degree
A charge of second-degree criminal tampering is appropriate if an individual (a) tampers with another’s property with the intent of causing injury, inconvenience, or annoyance to the person; or (b) knowingly makes an unauthorized connection with utility property. Second-degree criminal tampering is a class 2 misdemeanor.
An example of an unauthorized connection to a utility includes connecting to sewer, electricity, or gas without the permission of the relevant utility provider.
Witnesses are often a critical component of a trial, and they should not be inappropriately influenced. A witness is any person who has knowledge of facts related to a crime, has made a declaration under oath for evidence, reported any crime to a police, correctional, or judicial officer, has been served a subpoena by the court, or would be reasonably believed to fall in any of these categories.
A person is guilty of the class 4 felony of witness tampering if they attempt to induce (without bribery or threats) a witness, victim, or person they believe will be called as a witness in any official proceeding to:
- Testify falsely or unlawfully withhold testimony;
- Absent themselves from an official proceeding to which they have been summoned; or
- Avoid legal process summoning them to testify
Bribing or intimidating witnesses is also illegal in Colorado.
Tampering with Physical Evidence
Individuals are also prohibited from tampering with physical evidence. A person will be charged with the class 6 felony of tampering with physical evidence if they, without legal right or authority:
- Destroy, mutilate, conceal, remove, or alter physical evidence with intent to impair its verity or availability pending or prospective official proceeding; or
- Knowingly make, present, or offer any false or altered physical evidence with intent that it be introduced in the pending or prospective official proceeding.
Physical evidence is a broad category, meant to include any item that could be presented as evidence in an official proceeding, including any article, object, document, record, or other thing of physical substance.
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What are the Penalties for Criminal Tampering In Colorado?
- First-Degree Criminal Tampering: First-degree criminal tampering is a class 1 misdemeanor and is punishable by anywhere from six to eighteen months imprisonment and/or a $500 to $5,000 fine.
- Second-Degree Criminal Tampering: This is a class 2 misdemeanor which is punishable by anywhere from three to twelve months imprisonment and/or $250 to $1,000 fine.
- Witness Tampering: Witness tampering is a class 4 felony and is punishable by two to six years in prison and/or $2,000 to $500,000 in fines.
- Tampering with Physical Evidence: This is a class 6 felony and is punishable by twelve to eighteen months in prison and fines from $1,000 to $100,000.
Frequently Asked Questions
In general, criminal tampering is when a person tampers with property or a utility with the purpose of causing interruption or impairment of a service rendered to the public by a utility or an institution providing health or safety protection or when someone tampers with someone else’s property with the intent of causing injury, inconvenience, or annoyance to the person or tampers with their testimony to affect the outcome of a trial.
Criminal tampering is usually charged as a misdemeanor in Colorado. If someone tampers with evidence or a witness, however, that would likely result in felony charges.
In Colorado, tampering with physical evidence is usually charged as a class-6 felony.
Colorado Springs Criminal Tampering Lawyer Near You
When you’re charged with criminal tampering in Colorado, you need a lawyer who is familiar with the laws and knows how the court system works. Criminal defense attorneys work with you to help you establish a strong defense. Even if you believe that a conviction is inevitable, a criminal tampering lawyer can help you fight for a lesser charge, a reduced sentence, or another more favorable outcome. Contact us right away for a free case consultation.
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