A lawyer serving Denver sometimes counsels individuals who have been charged with criminal mischief. Criminal mischief is a serious charge that can only be fought by a criminal defense attorney who understands the state’s criminal law. Criminal mischief can be either a misdemeanor or a felony charge, and a conviction can result in jail time, probation, and a lifelong criminal record. Continue reading to find out more about how a criminal mischief conviction can change the course of your life.
Criminal mischief occurs when a person knowingly damages the property of another person, including property jointly owned by the accused. As your criminal defense
attorney will advise you, criminal mischief convictions come with steep fines. If the damage is under $500, it is a misdemeanor with up to a year in jail. If it is between $1,000 and $20,000, you have a felony record and can spend six years in prison. If the damage exceeds $20,000, you face 12 years in prison.
With the help of lawyers who handle criminal cases, you may be offered a suspended sentence instead of jail time. Also known as probation, a suspended sentence will keep you out of prison as long as you abide by the terms of your probation. However, probation terms can be strict, and your criminal defense attorney will need to be a tough negotiator.
Finally, if you do not hire a lawyer to defend you against criminal mischief charges, you can have a criminal record for the rest of your life. A conviction can make it impossible to further your career or even secure any job at all. Many employers require individuals who have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony to disclose that conviction. However, a skilled lawyer can work with a judge to secure expungement of your record. The process is difficult, and it is imperative to hire a law firm so you can avoid conviction to begin with.