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Criminal Mischief in Colorado

A song that I hear all the time is "Before He Cheats" by Carrie Underwood. The chorus, and likely the draw of the song, is:

"That I dug my key into the side of his pretty little suped up 4-wheel drive. Carved my name into his leather seats. I took a Louisville slugger to both headlights. Slashed a hole in all four tires. Maybe next time he'll think before he cheats!"

First, as a Denver criminal defense attorney who is in court on a daily basis, I cannot express how inappropriate this behavior would seem to a Court in Colorado. Second, when women or men sing the verse of this song, or laugh about this type of incident happening in a movie or play, those individuals likely do not realize that they are watching a felony occur. In Colorado, there is a criminal charge called criminal mischief - Colorado Revised Statutes, 18-4-501 - which states:

" (1) A person who knowingly damages the real or personal property of one or more other persons, including property owned by the person jointly with another person or property owned by the person in which another person has a possessory or proprietary interest, in the course of a single criminal episode commits a class 2 misdemeanor where the aggregate damage to the real or personal property is less than five hundred dollars. Where the aggregate damage to the real or personal property is five hundred dollars or more but less than one thousand dollars, the person commits a class 1 misdemeanor. Where the aggregate damage to the real or personal property is one thousand dollars or more but less than twenty thousand dollars, the person commits a class 4 felony. Where the aggregate damage to the real or personal property is twenty thousand dollars or more, the person commits a class 3 felony.

Obviously the damage that is described in this song would be more than $1,000.00, so the individual who does this would be looking a class 4 felony. A seasoned criminal defense lawyer would need to protect that person from going to prison for 2 to 6 years with a mandatory 3 year parole! Also, depending on the vehicle that is being destroyed, the amount of damage can be far greater than $20,000.00. Just about any sports car, nice truck or SUV on the market, even used, would likely garner more than $20,000.00 worth of damage if these lyrics are acted out, which means that a criminal defense lawyer would have to protect that person from a class 3 felony which carries a term of imprisonment for 4 to 12 years with a mandatory 5 year parole sentence!

If you find yourself charged by the State of Colorado for criminal mischief, you need a seasoned criminal defense lawyer to represent you. The consequences of a lacking representation can be devastating.

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