Criminal tampering is a serious offense in Colorado involving knowingly interfering with property or evidence intending to deceive or harm. If you face criminal tampering charges, it is essential to understand the laws surrounding this offense and take immediate action to protect your interests.
Defining Criminal Tampering in Colorado
In Colorado, criminal tampering is governed by statute 18-4-505 of the Colorado Revised Statutes. According to this law, a person commits criminal tampering if they knowingly tamper with another person’s property without their consent and with the intent to cause harm or deception. The offense can include various acts, such as damaging or defacing property, making unauthorized alterations, or removing or concealing evidence in a criminal investigation.
The Consequences of a Criminal Tampering Conviction
Being convicted of criminal tampering can result in significant penalties, depending on the case’s circumstances. In Colorado, criminal tampering is generally classified as a class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in jail and fines of up to $1,000. However, if the tampering involves tampering with certain critical public infrastructure, such as utility lines or transportation systems, the offense may be elevated to a class 1 misdemeanor, carrying harsher penalties.
Defenses Against Criminal Tampering Charges
When facing criminal tampering charges, building a strong defense to protect your interests and fight for the best possible outcome is essential. Some common defenses against criminal tampering charges include the following:
Lack of Intent: To be convicted of criminal tampering, the prosecution must prove that you had the specific intent to deceive or cause harm by tampering with the property. If you can demonstrate that your actions were accidental or lacked the required intent, it can be a viable defense in your case.
Consent: If you had the owner’s consent to interact with the property or believed you had the right to do so, it may be a valid defense against criminal tampering charges. Providing evidence of consent is crucial to support this defense.
Mistaken Identity: In some cases, individuals may be wrongly accused of criminal tampering due to mistaken identity. If you can prove that you were not present at the scene of the alleged tampering or have an alibi, it can help support this defense.
Lack of Evidence: Challenging the evidence presented by the prosecution is another common defense strategy. Your attorney may seek to undermine the reliability of the evidence or demonstrate that there is not enough evidence to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Protecting Your Interests
If you are facing criminal tampering charges in Colorado, seeking legal representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney is crucial. Your attorney will thoroughly review the details of your case, gather evidence, and develop a tailored defense strategy to protect your interests. They will advocate on your behalf, negotiate with the prosecution, and work towards achieving the best possible outcome for your case.
Criminal tampering is a serious offense in Colorado with significant legal consequences. Understanding the laws surrounding criminal tampering and the potential defenses available to you is essential when facing such charges. With the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney, you can protect your rights, build a strong defense, and seek a favorable resolution for your case.
If you or someone you know is facing criminal tampering charges, do not hesitate to seek the guidance and support of a skilled attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and advocate on your behalf.
About the Author:
Kimberly Diego is a criminal defense attorney in Denver practicing at The Law Office of Kimberly Diego. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and her law degree at the University of Colorado. She was named one of Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars of 2012 & 2019-2022” and a “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Colorado” for 2012-2022 by The National Trial Lawyers. Both honors are limited to a small percentage of practicing attorneys in each state. Additionally, Expertise names her to its lists of the 25 Best Denver DUI Lawyers and 21 Best Denver Criminal Defense Lawyers, both in 2020-2022. Ms. Diego has also been recognized for her work in domestic violence cases.