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Criminal Tampering in Colorado

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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.

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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.

Witness Tampering

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?​

The penalty for criminal tampering will depend on the type of tampering you have been charged with.

  • 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.

It is important to hire an experienced Colorado Springs criminal tampering lawyer who will help defend your case. A lawyer will help advise on your case strategy, your defense strategy, and whether you should accept any plea deal that offers a reduced sentence.

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.

What is the sentence for misdemeanors in Colorado?

  • Class 1

  • 6 to 18 months in county jail, and/or
  • $500 to $5,000 in fines
  • For extraordinary risk class 1 misdemeanors, the maximum jail sentence is 24 months.
  • For 3rd-degree assault (CRS 18-3-204), the maximum sentence can be 48 months if the victim was on duty as a:
    • Peace officer,
    • Emergency medical provider,
    • Firefighter, or
    • Mental health professional at the Department of Human Services.
  • Class 2

  • 3 to 12 months in county jail, and/or
  • $250 to $1,000 in fines
  • Class 3

  • Up to 6 months of county jail, and/or
  • $50 to $750 in fines

What are Colorado felony penalties?

  • Class 1

  • Life imprisonment
  • No Colorado crime carries the death penalty.
  • Class 2

  • 8 – 24 years in Colorado State Prison, and/or
  • $5,000 – $1,000,000
  • 5 years of mandatory parole if the offense is a crime of violence. Otherwise, 3 years of mandatory parole.
  • Class 3

  • 4 – 12 years in prison, and/or
  • $3,000 – $750,000
  • 3 years of mandatory parole
  • For extraordinary risk class 3 felonies, the maximum sentence is 16 years in prison.
  • Class 4

  • 2 – 6 years in prison, and/or
  • $2,000 – $500,000
  • 3 years of mandatory parole
  • For extraordinary risk class 4 felonies, the maximum sentence is 8 years in prison.
  • Class 5

  • 1 – 3 years in prison, and/or
  • $1,000 – $100,000
  • 2 years of mandatory parole
  • For extraordinary risk class 5 felonies, the maximum sentence is 4 years in prison.
  • Class 6

  • 1 – 18 months years in prison, and/or
  • $1,000 – $100,000
  • 1 year of mandatory parole
  • For extraordinary risk class 6 felonies, the maximum sentence is 2 years in prison.

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Getting You To A Better Place Fast

At Right Law Group, we understand the stress you are under. Our Criminal Defense Law Firm is here to guide you down the right path to your legal challenge. Whether you are facing your first DUI, a drug charge, need a restraining order, or are facing another type of criminal charge, our firm is committed to your well-being and protecting your rights the right way.

What is the charge of tampering?

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.

Is criminal tampering a felony in Colorado?

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.

Is tampering with evidence a felony in Colorado?

In Colorado, tampering with physical evidence is usually charged as a class-6 felony.

Experienced Criminal Tampering Lawyer

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.